Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Little Biography to Establish Context

I have been ordained for a little over 22 years. I am pretty-much a life-long Mississippian, having ventured out of this diocese only briefly to serve on staff at a congregation in Tennessee.

My roots are deep in Mississippi. Both my maternal and paternal sides have lived in Mississippi for multiple generations. I was reared Methodist and grew up in a combination of Columbia, Greenwood and Meridian. I value my Methodist roots. I was educated at the University of Mississippi (with degrees in political science and journalism) and was in private business in Jackson for nine years before attending seminary at the University of the South in Sewanee.

Since graduation and ordination, I have served congregations on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Nashville (briefly), and Starkville. I have served as Canon to the Ordinary to the Bishops of Mississippi since May 2001. The 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church will be the fourth I have attended. I attended the 73rd Convention in Denver as an alternate, and participated in the 74th in Minneapolis and the 75th in Columbus, Ohio as a deputy.

Nora and I will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary while at General Convention. We are the parents of two adult children.

Faith and the church have been central foci in my life, from my days of attending Sunday School at First Methodist Church in Columbia, all the way to this moment. My faith has shaped, molded and grounded my life. A central tenet in my understanding of God's work is existential redemption -- that God works through the most difficult experiences to transform and renew life. This is seen most dramatically in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ; it is also seen in myriad ways in faith history. We experience those times as "little Easters" -- God bringing life out of difficult circumstances.

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