Attending an Installation

Date: March 11, 2024

Last night, I was the preacher at the installation of the Rev. Greg Millikin as the new Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Evanston Illinois. It was a lovely occasion. The clergy of the Deanery joined in the celebration. The Bishop of Chicago was represented by the Rev. Canon J. Sierra Reyes. It was followed appropriately by an Oscar party at which the congregation and guests had the opportunity to get to know each other.

In many ways St. Mark’s is typical of much of the Episcopal Church. It has been in transition for several years searching for a new Rector; COVID has been hard; and certain habits of gathering have dissipated. Yet the campus is lovely; there are numerous imaginative outreach ministries that have continued; and the music program is strong. Under Greg’s leadership, there are many reasons to be hopeful for the future.

For me, these trips are important. I learn about the Church that we are seeking to serve. There are challenges; but there are also numerous signs of hopefulness. Watch closely, my guess is that the Episcopal Church will surprise all those ‘naysayers’ who are predicting our terminal decline.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary

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