Monday, March 12, 2018

Katherine Malloy had just taken the phone call. "The standing committee of the diocese of Virginia wants you to attend their next meeting," she explained. So I made the journey to Fredericksburg, VA and spent a fascinating two hours with the committee.

Their issue was profound and yet simple. "Why is it that postulants for Holy Orders find talking about Jesus so difficult?", they asked. Without exception, the Standing Committee wanted priests who can talk about their love for Jesus. They wanted the language to come easily to their congregational leadership; they wanted seminarians who can explain why Jesus matters and do so using illustrations from their life.

The Episcopal Church might be socially liberal (and even here there is much more diversity than people imagine), but it is not theologically liberal. Some are tempted to imagine that love language for Jesus is confined to evangelicals, and that Episcopalians can stay away from such talk. However, the truth is that this is a feature of a solid devotional life that is Christ-centered. And plenty of Episcopalians expect a well-formed priest to have the capacity to talk about Jesus. So over to you: may we all learn how to speak about Christ in our lives.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President
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