Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As the Apostle Paul came to the end of his life and ministry, he contemplated what lay before him personally, he reflected on the Faith he labored to proclaim, and he instructed the Church he helped to establish. And so, he began to write. Crafting two letters to his disciple, Timothy, his second one contains such words as these:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline (1:6-7).
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others (2:2).
As for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it (3:14).
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear (4:3).
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (4:5)
It is with these encouragements and admonitions in mind that Timothy labored and persevered in his apostolic and priestly ministry.
It is with these same encouragements and admonitions in mind that younger members of our clergy will be addressing the diocese, both by letter and video over the next several weeks leading up to diocesan convention. We speak with three purposes in mind:
To inform our communicants of the hope and future we see in this diocese through the proclamation of the gospel
To tell our own stories of how we came to know Jesus and how we were called into priestly service
To articulate from our own positions and perspectives why we are in support of re-alignment in the Anglican Communion.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.” I Timothy 4:12-14
The Rev. Christopher Culpepper