Date: September 20, 2023
I love all the senior sermons. As each senior walks into the ambo, I watch as they preach from the place were Archbishops Williams and Welby have preached; I think of Presiding Bishops Griswold, Jefferts Schori, and Curry – all of whom have stood in that place. Just last week, the Rev. Canon Dr. Mark Oakley preached from there. And now one of our graduating seniors takes their place in that spot.
And I hesitate to highlight any particular sermon. I have laughed and felt potential tears in many a senior sermon. VTS produces good preachers. Good preachers that deliver the word that I need to hear.
Yet yesterday morning’s sermon from Thomas Alexander is worth highlighting. The topic was alcohol and The Episcopal Church. It was a brave sermon. Alcohol is a drug; and we as a denomination are especially permissive. Thomas, with a faithfulness to the text and with pastoral sensitivity, opened up the argument that we all need to examine our relationship with alcohol. It was appropriately challenging. We should all pause and think about our habits and practices. Many a ministry has been destroyed by alcohol. Learn the lesson now. Thank you Thomas.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
The Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary