Sermon on Song of Songs – Preached 30 August 2009

I want to begin this morning with a little story from a previous phase of my ministry.

People sometimes ask me what I did before becoming a priest – I long to be able to say something exotic or exciting or even slightly noble. Something where it sounds as though you gave up a lot in order to pursue a true vocation.

The true answer to what I did before becoming a priest is that I worked in the church. I was a lay worker in an ecumenical chaplaincy in the University of London – one of two periods of university chaplaincy ministry that I’ve had. I have to say that I’ve always enjoyed Chaplaincy ministry. Working in universities was probably the most successful home mission effort that the Anglican churches in the UK ever committed themselves to. Certainly it would be true of quite a few people here that university was a time when they connected with faith in a way that has been life-changing. It was true for me – I found my way into the Episcopal church through the ministry of University Chaplains and it was only natural that I should consequently spend quite a lot of my subsequent ministry hanging around university coffee bars, staff clubs and corridors meeting with staff and students alike. We used to call it “loitering with intent.” [Read more…]