My journey with the Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor, who will be visiting with us in less than two weeks as part of the 2013 Angelica Center Speaker Series:
I was first introduced to Dr. Taylor through her writing not long before leaving for seminary. During that time of discernment, it was suggested to me that I read two of her books: Leaving Church and An Altar in the World. Both books became an integral part of my preparing for seminary. Dr. Taylor’s writings helped me to focus on the call to serve God and God’s people and guard against merely worshiping church.
Then, in my second year of seminary I was once again invited to engage with Dr. Taylor through my preaching classes. Her book The Preaching Life was one of our required textbooks. Besides reading her deeply insightful and inspiring sermons, we watched a few videos of sermons that she gave at Duke University Chapel. You could have heard a pin drop as my classmates and I were watching and listening to one of the masters. Barbara Taylor has been deemed one of the most influential living preachers of the English language.
It wasn’t until my last year in seminary that I finally got to meet “Barbara.” She was invited to spend a few days in Sewanee as our guest speaker and preacher for our annual “DuBose Lecture Series.” My own preaching professor gave me the privilege to be “assigned” to Barbara while she was with us. I found her to be wonderfully kind and down to earth. And because I was so hungry to gain knowledge from her, she was kind enough to treat me as one of her own students, after all, she is first and foremost a teacher.
As we were planning her trip here, Barbara said, “I hope you love what you are doing. The first years are so delicious.” She is so very right! I love what I am doing and this first year with all of you is so delicious! I am looking forward to being a student with many of you at Barbara’s lecture on April 13!
In the name of our risen Lord,