Friday, March 20, 2009
I am pleased to welcome to campus 35 lay and ordained leaders who are participating in VIA training (Viviendo la Identidad Anglicana) or "Living the Christian Life as Anglicans." VIA is an educational program for Spanish-speaking Episcopalians and is sponsored by VTS in conjunction with the Hispanic Missioners of the Dioceses of Washington, Virginia and Maryland. You can learn more about VIA on their website.
As I walked out of Chapel yesterday morning, I walked into Les Ferguson wearing a hat with a little rotor on top and armed with a bubble making wand and vial. His explanation for his attire and the bubbles was that this was his way of coping with this week of examinations. It was a helpful reminder to me of where we are in the semester cycle.
This has been an exceptionally difficult time for the entire community. And the natural examination stress has added to this difficult time. Since arriving, my practice in exam week is to plead for the community to continue to gather in the Chapel. We bring our stress to God: we do not allow our stress to drive ourselves away from God.
Part of the hard work of formation in this place is this discovery: at our moments of greatest stress (and perhaps when we are most angry and unhappy), we need to find ourselves in the presence of the God who seeks to sustain and grant us the ability to cope. When we least want to pray is when we must pray.
The Very Rev Ian Markham
Dean and President