Date: May 10, 2023
As I watched Archbishop Hosam Naoum present the consecrated oil to the Archbishop of Canterbury I marveled. Here was a VTS alum (twice over – he has a MA and a DMin from VTS) carrying the Bible at the coronation of King Charles III and then participating in the sacred rite of anointing a monarch for their duties in the realm.
This moment was almost certainly watched by millions. And for his ministry in Israel, it is probably a gift. In all the challenges of his work as a Palestinian in Israel, it is good that he has this global profile. But it was also extraordinarily moving. Here is a person who was formed by this Seminary doing the work that one should do. He was “going out into the world to preach the Gospel”.
I will never carry the consecrated oil to a coronation nor will most of the alums of this place. But each in their way will do their bit. Whether it is a small church or a larger one, whether it is school chaplaincy or military service, or whether it is the ministry of the baptized in a more secular sphere – all will have an impact. God alone measures that impact and to God always be the glory. Meanwhile we all admire our alum Archbishop Hosam Naoum. We are grateful for his ministry.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
The Dean and President of Virginia Theological Seminary and the President of The General Theological Seminary