Thursday, November 19, 2020

Date: November 19, 2020

Institutions are very precious. If any idea is going to persist into the future, then it needs an institution to keep it going. For this purpose, institutions can be many things – football teams, colleges, societies, and, of course, congregations. When you walk around Athens, you find plenty of literal ruins of institutions that did not survive. The Parthenon ruin is a testimony to the death of the worship of the goddess Athena. Once the temple stopped functioning, so the religion dissipated. This morning I am participating in a fascinating exercise. I am reflecting on the significance of an institution that played a key role in my formation. I had the privilege of working at Liverpool Hope University from 1996-2001. And thanks to the gift of Zoom, some fifteen faculty from Hope will gather for an exercise in thinking about how we were shaped by this place in our subsequent work and ministry. Care of institutions is at the heart of the Christian vocation. For so many of our graduates, the task is to keep congregations going. You might well find yourself in a challenging parish church, but the obligation is to do what you can. Our task is to keep these witnesses to the faith going. On this day, I invite everyone to remind ourselves of institutions that matter to us or have mattered to us and be grateful. The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.  Dean and President

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