"Send out Your light and Your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling." Psalm 43:3

An Introduction and Invitation

My name is Robert Clay Calhoun. I am a follower of Christ, a husband, and a father. As a Candidate for Holy Orders, I am currently a seminarian at The School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee. I believe in one God, the Father Almighty; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord; and in the Holy Spirit. I believe that to have knowledge of the past is to understand the world as it was and is, and to have a base from which to move forward. I believe that I am called to be a fellow worker with God and with neighbor, to daily expand the Kingdom of God. I am a pilgrim, seeking ever to travel higher up and further in.

The opinions expressed on this blog are my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of The Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, or The School of Theology at The University of the South, Sewanee. 


9 November 2014

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. . . .
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ . . .
~ from "A General Thanksgiving," The Book of Common Prayer pg. 836

Since August of this year, I have been enrolled as a Master of Divinity student at The School of Theology at the University of the South, Sewanee. This three-year degree program of education, training, and spiritual formation is part of the ordination process in the Episcopal Church.

I began this blog primarily as a place of discernment. It has been quite useful in that respect, providing me a place to take time to intentionally process some thoughts and reading reflections. It has also provided a way for me to learn more about the broader shape of the Episcopal Church. I have been able to correspond with new friends of varied opinions and experiences; they have helped me immensely over the past few years, as I have continued down the long and winding road of the ordination process. For their insight, counsel, and encouragement, I am most grateful. If you, dear reader, are one of these, I thank you and pray God bless you.

This post is not intended as a bookend, but more of a place marker. I will leave this blog active, and I hope to continue to post from time to time. But as is evident from the date of my previous post, I have not been devoting much time to this space lately. As a seminarian, I do not currently lack for intellectual and theological conversation, nor am I wanting opportunities for reading and writing (that's a bit of an understatement).


21 June 2012

Happy are the people whose strength is in you!
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims' way.
Psalm 84:4

In the name of Christ, welcome, and peace. This blog is intended to be an experiment in spiritual discernment. I don't believe the world needs or wants another blog about "adventures in Anglicanism"; there are plenty of those already, and many of them do a much better job of reflecting over Anglican life and spirituality than I could hope to offer. I've no doubt I will do a fair bit of ruminating here and maybe even some pretentious preaching on occasion, but such is not my primary object. I intend to be inquiring at least as much as I am affirming, and in this spirit I hope that I may find some direction and light from fellow pilgrims (the older and wiser the better, I should think).

First, some information about myself. I was baptized and raised in the Episcopal Church. My family's faith has never been a 'Sundays only' affair. I was blessed to grow up in a loving and devoted Christian home. Though I have always been an Episcopalian, I have experienced a fairly broad spectrum of Christian tradition. My parents are primarily evangelical in their faith, and most of my friends and extended family attend other churches. My beautiful wife and I were married in the church of my boyhood. Though prior to our relationship she had almost no experience of liturgical traditions, she has since come to find herself happily at home in the Episcopal Church. Currently, I am a high school teacher in a moderately small town in Kansas. My wife and I are fairly busy these days as we raise three small children. I thank God that I may count myself so very blessed. Life is good. However, over the period of about the last year and a half, I have felt myself called to serious contemplation of how God would have me live in service to Him. I really do not see myself teaching high school kids for forty years. When I consider what it is that I can see myself doing, I often find myself in the service of the church. What this would look like I don't yet know, though I find it most natural to envision myself as called to the vocation of a parish priest; that is, after all, the context in which I have most frequently and meaningfully witnessed ordained ministry. And there is much in that vocation, on the surface, that appeals to me (I think I'm starting to gain a greater appreciation for the incredible responsibilities that lie under the surface, as well). In any event, this is clearly only the start of a journey, and I know I have much to learn, regardless of where God leads me.

This journey has led me already into considerable reflection and study. Much has been of a personal nature: What do I want to do with my life? Do I really want to become a priest? Am I fit for such a high calling? What would such a vocation entail for my family and our future? What, in fact, do I believe? Such a question as that last one has been, thus far, one of primary focus for me. And it has led me into many more questions, ultimately not personal, but universal, both general and specific. Who is God? What is the church? What of the church's claims about God and human existence? What does it mean to live a life of faithfulness to God? And on and on. 

All of which brings me here. I feel, at this point in time, that what I very much need is some guidance. I hope to find some light as I muse over these and other questions in subsequent posts, and I sincerely hope that some fellow pilgrims may feel called to occasionally help me along the way. In addition, I crave (and yes, need) Christian community, community that strengthens my soul and sharpens my intellect, community that calls me ever onward in my pilgrimage to realize the coming of God's Kingdom, community that calls me ever back to the foundation laid by apostles on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ, community that cares deeply about things that matter in the midst of a society entertaining and distracting itself to death. Frankly, I think an electronic medium such as this is a poor substitute for true living in community. Nevertheless, I pray that God will use this blog to provide guidance for a pilgrim, and maybe even some worthwhile sustenance for others in fellowship along the way. All to His glory. 

Whatever may lie ahead, and whatever doubts I may harbor, I find great comfort in my firm conviction that God, in His perfection, will at last set all things right. In such knowledge, what cause have I to ever be without hope? I close now (after much too lengthy a post; I hope this is not setting a precedent), with one of my favorite lines from Dante:
"O Sun, that healest all distempered vision,
Thou dost content me so, when thou resolvest,
That doubting pleases me no less than knowing!"
                               The Divine Comedy, Canto XI of Inferno

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