Updated: Oct 8, 2018
From THE MESSENGER, September 2017
Arriving where we began...
T. S. Elliot once wrote, "We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began only to know the place for the first time." (Four Quartets)
My exploration into what it means to serve Jesus Christ as an Episcopal priest began thirty-two years ago when I was ordained in the prayerful presence of the faithful people of Christ Church, Mobile, Alabama. Jan and I will be forever grateful for that blessed beginning. Forever grateful for the support, patience, encouragement, and love that was so freely given to us by members of this church family from 1985 through 1988.
And now over three decades later, after years of exploring what it means to love and be loved by Christ within his church, and after retiring from full time parish ministry, we arrive where we began. We arrive where we began, recognizing "for the first time," or at least in new ways the incredible depth, mystery, and allurement of Christ's Presence and Love in all of creation and in the life of each and every person who has ever lived. As Augustine put it, "Jesus, who came to reveal the universal love of the Father, loved each person that he ever met as though there were none other in all the world to love, and he loved them all as he loved each!"
I am honored and excited to be called by your Dean and Vestry to serve as Priest Associate on the Cathedral staff. Practically speaking, the position of priest associate means I will be ministering to you and with you on a part time basis. Said differently, you will not see me nearly as much as you see Dean Gibson, but hopefully we will come to know and love one another fairly soon. I see this happening through some classes that I will be offering as well through the ministries of pastoral care and spiritual direction in which your Dean has invited me to participate.
I look forward to sharing with you in the mission and ministry of Christ Cathedral beginning in September. I promise to pray for you and ask that you do the same for Jan and me. Praying for one another on a regular basis is so important because it opens us to the Spirit who pours the love of God into our hearts. (Romans 4:5.)
Yours In Christ, Marshall