My wife Marjo and I joined Christ Church Cathedral in 1982 when we moved to Indianapolis. We joined Christ Church because it was then, as it is now, the most urban and most diverse of the Indianapolis Episcopal parishes.
Leadership experiences at CCC for which I am particularly grateful include serving on the steering committee of CCC’s annual Bible lectures throughout the life of the series (over fifteen years),
chairing a committee on worship at Christ Church, leading a Lenten study series on the Book of Psalms,
and serving a three-year term on the Vestry during Steve Carlsen’s deanship.
My reasons for accepting a nomination to stand for election to the Vestry at the present time may be summed up as follows. In recent years, Christ Church has conducted an impressive array of ministries to communities beyond our walls through grants to numerous community organizations (our Covenant Partners), though public witness on issues of national and international life, and in other ways. These important ministries have my full support. However, the issues and concerns I would like to work on if elected to the Vestry have to do mainly with the internal life of our congregation. One of these concerns is the decline in the number of annual pledges in our congregation (an issue having to do with participation, not dollars). A second concern is to improve communication between the Vestry and the congregation. A third concern is to address the continuing attrition of long-time members of CCC. Like all of us, I am overjoyed to see significant growth in new members at Christ Church in recent years, but we should also face the issue of attrition. A fourth concern I am passionate about is finding ways to support the spiritual and vocational development of our young-adult members (college students, soon-to-be college students, and young adults in the working world). A fifth concern is the promotion of Christian learning throughout the congregation— biblical learning above all, but also learning about the creeds, the liturgy and the history of the Church. This season of transition in our parish strikes me as a good time to reflect on these and other concerns related to the internal life of our congregation.
For the record, I taught religion, humanities and Russian studies at Butler University for thirty-six
years. I retired from teaching in 2018, but I continue to be an active scholar. I am currently working on
a book about Christianity and law in Russia.
Click here to go back to the Invitation to the 2020 Annual Meeting from Dean Mary.