As a Common Friar, I’m doing what I said I would NEVER do; I’m living as a member of a religious order!  My saying “never” dates back to my freshman year in college when I first felt called to be a priest.  For most of us here, that would not be all that long ago, but at 51 that means I’ve been saying never for most of my life!  What we now affectionately call the “ridiculous offer” and a few days of retreat at the Good Earth Farm changed everything!

Over six months of discernment, I did not find a “Christian utopia.”  I wasn’t looking for one and none exists, not even on the farm.  What I found were disciples that shared my intense desire to serve Christ above all else.  What I found was a community centered, as am I, on the Eucharist.  What I found were fellow pilgrims eager to discover Christ in all, through all and with all.  What I found were gospel values of poverty, hospitality and joy; the latter two, which I have fully embraced and the first a value I seek to grow into.

My call and my dream to share in the ministry of the Church as an ordained priest was realized after a long journey of nearly 31 years when I was ordained an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Southern Ohio by the Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal on June 20, 2009.  How my gifts will be called upon by our community we await to discover.  In the meantime, I continue as Assistant to the Rector at St. Luke’s, Granville where I enjoy working with the youth and those especially interested in spiritual formation through prayer and retreat.  I’ll be putting a lot of miles on my vehicle commuting between Athens and Granville!  Pray for my safe travels.

By visiting our website and hopefully the farm as well, you show that you are searching for greater connection with the earth, community and God.  Welcome!  Let us search together and be amazed at the goodness of God as the Holy Spirit leads on the road we know as The Way.

 

 

Articles written by Tom for Altar & Table.

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