On Friday night I was in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rev. Sharon Williams, my teaching assistant in Systematics for 2016-17, had a service of celebration of her new ministry at the historic St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. She had invited me to be the preacher. This historic African American church was ready for a relaunch. And Sharon is ready to do the hard work. The atmosphere was positive and energetic. From a soloist with a remarkable voice to liturgical dance, the service had a positive energy. It was a privilege to preach.
I love visiting our alums. Ministry in the church is hard work. There are the complexities of endless liturgies; there is the ongoing work of pastoral presence; there is the complexity of governance both in respect to the diocese and with the vestry, and there is a need for outreach and service. Those initial years are difficult. It takes depth of character to handle the many challenges of the work.
Yet it is also deeply satisfying. There is a deep affection for Sharon at historic St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. She has clearly already had an impact. This is a congregation excited. And with Sharon's leadership, I am confident this congregation will do well.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President