Note: This date, forty-two years ago, being the occasion of my ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests of the Episcopal Church in America, annually, for me, is a time for especial contemplation.
Today, I reflect on some words of the Most Reverend William White (1748-1836), first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania, first and fourth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, and second United States Senate Chaplain.
…(O)ur Lord, after his resurrection, delivered to his disciples the commission – “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”…In short, it is wished to hold up the idea, that there is no time and no place, in which a clergyman may not perceive an obligation laid on him, to discourse in such a manner as falls under the name of preaching. This, indeed, may be said of prayer also…
In early 2015, I retired from full-time (sometimes also referred to as “active”) ministry. Nevertheless, for my entire vocational life, now, forty-two years and running, I have believed, as I’m wont to say, as long as God grants me breath and strength, I have life to live and labor to do. Thanks be to God!
Endnote: Bishop White’s words, taken from White on Ordination (Stanford and Swords, 1848), Duties of the Ministry, On Preaching, pages 141-142