Commissioning of Families and Taylor Swift

Date: May 2, 2024

I announced in “Contemporary Witness of the Church” that I was intending to preach on Taylor Swift at the service for the Commissioning of Families that takes place today at 5.15pm. So, let me start by correcting the record. I am preaching the Gospel – period. One should never do anything other than that.

However, it is true that I plan to use an illustration from one of Taylor Swift’s track that captures – in my judgment – a Gospel theme. Or, to be more precise, the lyrics of one of her songs point to a truth that is found in the Gospel reading. Anyone with the profile of Taylor Swift generates a range of reactions – some understandably critical. Sermons are not a space for fandom: instead, Taylor Swift provides an illustration that I will use tonight.

I look forward to seeing you there. This is a special moment. Families of our graduating seniors have made their own journey through VTS. Tonight, they are honored and celebrated.

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

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