In Praise of Proximity

Date: December 10, 2021

This is the final trip on behalf of the Seminary for 2021. Last night, there was a lovely gathering of alums and friends of the Seminary. Earlier in the day, there were meetings with the Rt. Rev. Robert Wright ’98, bishop of Atlanta,  and with Mr. Russ Hardin of the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

Much can be done by Zoom. There is convenience, as the walk to the meeting is no further than the computer in your home and the attire can be as you choose. But on this trip, I am reminded afresh that actual presence and proximity make a massive and good difference. The questions about family and the comfortable banter about life are much easier. The sharing of a vision is much more focused (you cannot open up another screen to answer emails when you are actually in a room with the speaker from the Seminary). And, as a result, the impact of the meeting is much greater.

The future for all of us is a combination. For some meetings and some events, zoom and webinars will be appropriate. But for others, we will want everyone in a room together. The latter has deeper connectivity and intimacy which is truly a gift.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President

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