Date: January 8, 2021
Last night those students who had taken the General Ordination Examinations gathered for a physically distanced, mask-wearing gathering. The relief was palpable. Conversations bubbled around the room as they recall the experience of the week. This is a class that is close; they really like each other and it showed.
The Associate Dean of Students, the Rev. Dr. Ruthanna Hooke, made some remarks and offered a toast to the students. Then I said a few words. I talked about how memorable the GOEs are in one’s journey to the diaconate. Of course for this group of seniors, the memory will be even more acute. Every time the world talks about “January 6, 2021 and the Insurrection,” the seniors will be reminded that “yes, they were taking their GOEs during the Insurrection.”
It is a reminder of the deep paradox of God’s world. As the Confederate Flag was paraded around the Capitol and self-avowed “white suprematists” occupied the Senate, just a few miles away seminarians were writing about their understanding of the faith about a God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth – a faith of hope, love, and justice. Sin in one place, hope in another. We offer this extraordinary week to God; and we pray, as we always do, for the triumph of hope over hatred.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President