Date: January 3, 2022
I will be honest with you, I expected 2022 to be easier. I was expecting vaccinations to have held COVID at bay; I was expecting even greater normality in terms of travel and presence, and I was expecting a Seminary community ready to focus on the hard work of formation for the sake of the kingdom.
Yet it does not feel easier. Life is proving much harder than my expectations. And as I learned on New Year’s Eve of the passing of the Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis (Dean’s Cross Recipient in 2009), I was reminded afresh of his powerful life and witness. Dr. Lewis was for many years rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And he was the author of A Church for the Future: South Africa as a Crucible for Anglicanism in a New Century. He was a tireless advocate for justice and a changed world. When he received the Dean’s Cross in 2009, he quoted the great hymn by Dr. Bowie: “Give us, oh God, the strength to build the city that hath stood too long a dream, whose laws are love, whose crown is servanthood, and where the sun that shineth is God’s grace for human good.”
This is the message we need this new year. May the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Harold Lewis continue to shape the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The hard work of formation for the sake of the kingdom continues. And the raw materials are the challenges that we continue to face. May God’s grace be seen in a thousand surprising places this new year.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President