Monday, December 3, 2018

Some times the commentary needs to work hard. There are several matters that need to be highlighted. So as we start this Advent season, we should pause and acknowledge the new Church year (yes Happy New Year everyone - this moment is much more important than the secular January 1); we learn to be patient as we await the coming of the Christ Child. Then I want to recognize the passing of President George H. W. Bush. The Seminary has close connections with the President and his family. Here was faithfulness personified: he was regular in his attendance at St. Martin's Episcopal Church (where our alum the Rev. Dr. Russ Levenson serves); and he modeled the life that always recognized that he was answerable to a power greater than the President of the United - the power of God. Then I also want to recognize the success of the play Lady Misrule that attracted more first time guests to the campus than any other comparable event. With over thirty scenes in the first Act, the play formed a powerful mosaic that captured the depths of human (and elf) depravity, yet saw potential and hope in the "resuscitation" of Nora who became the next St. Nicholas. It was a play that introduced theology in a form that touched the heart rather than the head.

We have three disparate themes for the commentary today. Yet there is a link. It is the vantage point. The Church calendar lifts us to the level of the eternal; the death of a President lifts us to the level of the historic; and the play lifts us to the level of the deep abiding themes of sin, hope, and redemption. And this is the work of a Seminary, it is to lift our eyes constantly away from the ephemeral and the immediate to the level of the transcendent. 

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