I have been asked many times over the last year “How do you reconcile your clear call to preaching and teaching with this choice to be an academic and archivist?” Today was the perfect answer to that question.


Today, I conducted a oral history interview of an 83 year old Episcopal Priest. He was the first openly gay priest in D.C.. As such, he was banned by the seminary from supervising seminarians in their field placements in 1981. He went on to do amazing work as an AIDS chaplain, which took him from death wards to the White House. Yet, even at 83, he carried the shame and pain for having been excluded from VTS.


I listened to his story, thanked him for his ministry, and for sharing his pain and journey with me. He then looked at me and said “I feel lighter. Like a load has been lifted.” For 42 years this man had carried that, and was finally free. That’s how I reconcile my decision. “It is right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again.” That is the Gospel! That is Good News! That IS preaching!


Not all days are good days, but this one is. The one the son set free is free, indeed!


This post was written by our Seminarian Joshua Waits

Comments are closed.