Hadrian’s Wall is a structure built by the Romans in the second century AD. It marks the boundary between England and Scotland. I am using it as a metaphor for what’s going on in my life right now. I am currently transferring my ordination credentials from an historically English denomination (Free Episcopal) to an historically Scottish denomination (Presbyterian). Hence, I am “hopping over Hadrian’s Wall”.
My reasons for making this journey are highly personal and I’d rather not discuss them publicly. I am grateful to the people of the Free Episcopal Church for their friendship, nurture, and support over the past four years. I hope to continue those friendships for many years to come. Theirs is an incredible vision for ministry among the most marginalized members of society. Free Episcopal clergy and lay ministers can be found in jails, drug rehabs, hospice care, and nursing homes. Mainline churches would be wise to take note of the Free Episcopal model of ministry, as it may provide more creative and sustainable options for the future.
As my attention turns toward making a new home for myself in the Presbyterian Church (USA), I am preparing to take a battery of ordination exams in late January/early February. Please pray for me as I hone my skills in Reformed theology, Presbyterian polity, and biblical exegesis.
I am also branching into congregational ministry for the first time at First Presbyterian Church of Boonville, NY. I work there part-time, while I continue my ministry on the street and my teaching at Utica College. Until I pass the ordination exams, I am officially “Temporary Supply” at Boonville. This means that I preach three times a month and am on-call for pastoral emergencies. I can’t do weddings, baptisms, or communion for now.
St. James Mission is in the process of reorganizing itself as an ecumenical outreach ministry in downtown Utica. Our work will continue, although its form may change somewhat. For now, we’re continuing to meet every Thursday evening for Bible study in the chapel at First Presbyterian Church of Utica. Worship starts at 6pm. Everyone’s welcome!
So that’s the news from me. See you on the other side of Hadrian’s Wall!