Today I am heading to Phoenix, Arizona. I am traveling with the co-director of the capital campaign, the Rev. Dr. Barney Hawkins. This is the first trip of a busy spring. As we start gearing up for a capital campaign, there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings with our alums, friends, and potential donors.
It is an important trip. Preparations have been laid by Vice President Dienno (she has visited twice) and by an alum event organized by the Rev. Dr. Judy Fentress-Williams. Now is the time to tell the story of the Seminary and offer a compelling vision of our role in the ecology of theological education.
Most of us have many causes that we like to support. In a world where there are many needs, the Seminary has to work hard to explain precisely why we are worth a gift. And in the end the reason is simple: we are aspiring to change the trajectory of the Episcopal Church. It is true that we are blessed with resources that can keep our physical operations here on the campus going (buildings, etc.); but we need resources to support programs that will produce leaders who can grow the church (e-Formation, lectures by renowned scholars, etc.). So as Deep Calls to the Deep starts making a difference to the quality of preaching in congregations, the program needs resources to continue beyond the funding of the grant from the Lilly Endowment. If you believe that a generous thoughtful faith is needed in the United States, then you need to believe in Virginia Theological Seminary. This is the message we are sharing this Spring - in Phoenix today and on other occasions around the country.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President