Readings From Revelation: The Education of a Priest
I am finally ready to speak about the book I have authored, because I have finished the content, and I am now getting the Preface, footnotes, bibliography, Table of Contents, and Index together. This is the book I have been working on for over two years about growing up in the Salvation Army, and my disillusionment with the Bible and Christianity, and then while attending my last two years of college at the University of Wisconsin, encountering the Episcopal Church at Grace Church, Madison, and especially Trinity Church in Janesville, Wisconsin. My memoir is not only autobiographical, but an apologetic (defense) of the Christian Faith as I learned totally anew in the Episcopal Church. I learned how the Church Catholic had read and interpreted the Bible for nearly two thousand years, and my lifelong question: “Where did the Bible come from” got answered. I especially found out about the Christian faith in the Episcopal Church from influential people in my life: Fr. Wayne Smith, Fr. Robert Hargrove, faculty members at Nashotah House, and above all Archbishop Michael Ramsey.
This has been for me a labor of love, and something I have worked on in dribs and drabs, whenever I have caught some time in the late evenings, weekends, and vacation time. It is chiefly concerned with faith in Christ, and love for His Church.
This story takes me from childhood to my ordination as an Episcopal priest at Grace Church in Madison, in 1980, with Archbishop Ramsey preaching the sermon.
The book will be published in 2019 by Wipf and Stock, a Christian publishing house, which has recently published a memoir by Quantum Physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne, and some rather weird books by and about Bishop James Pike, the celebrity Episcopal Bishop of California in the late 1950s to the mid 1960s. I am grateful to an Episcopal priest and scholar and friend Randall Balmer for arranging this opportunity. Others are reading this book, including United Methodist theologian Stanley Hauerwas. My longtime friend and classmate at Nashotah, now Bishop George Wayne Smith (who is in the book at Nashotah) has encouraged me, and is now retiring as Bishop of Missouri.
For the next three weeks, at the Adult Forum, I will offer some readings and comments from this book at the Adult Forum. I will ask for your critical comments, which will assist me with the final editing of the book. I am eager for you to say what you think, and you may be as critical as you would like.
The Adult Forum schedule is:
December 2: Growing up in the Salvation Army, the Lumbee Indians, Baseball , and meeting George Anastaplo at the Clearing in Door County, Wisconsin.
9: Invited to the Episcopal Church in Madison, Wisconsin, learning the Bible anew, and meeting Fr. Wayne Smith
16: Visiting Nashotah House for the First Time, attending there, Archbishop Michael Ramsey, women’s ordination and Will Campbell and racism.
May I be presumptuous and encourage you to attend? I believe this book could be used as a primer for Adult Education.
Faithfully in Christ,