By The Rev. Tyler Montgomery, Bruton Parish, Williamsburg
I am pleased to share the good news that the Canterbury Association at William & Mary received $10,000 this month from The Episcopal Church to build and sustain an alumni database. The grant money will fund various student interns throughout the course of the coming academic year. We already have over two hundred alumni names in our database. The strength of this ministry through the decades is palpable, and we hope that our efforts building and developing an alumni community will further safeguard the future of the ministry.
As the Church continues its permanent struggle to live into God's Word, ministries like the Canterbury Association might provide us with some hope of what the future could look like. There seems to be a diaspora of W&M alumni who have been touched by the life of Christ in this place, and through their collective stewardship Bruton Parish might be empowered to strengthen this ministry well into the future. The "Church" is the collective body of Christian believers who are sustained by Christ, and it is to that very body that we must look for nourishment and guidance in the future. Buildings and graveyards, historic and beautiful though they may be, are only holy in so far as they are connected to the living God of Christ working in the flesh of the Church. Like many other areas of life in our increasingly globalized world, "Church" is less local than in might have been in past generations. This alumni database and outreach is more than simply another potential revenue source for Bruton Parish; it is a way of "being Church" that recognizes our most precious treasure to be the souls of those who have seen Jesus in this place, including those who might now live far away.
These are exciting times for the Church. Contrary to the narrative of decline so common within mainline Protestantism, I am witness to a generation of students and alumni who deeply care about God in this place, and, perhaps more than anything else, that is our witness to the enduring Truth that God's light shines in the darkness.
If you are a William & Mary alumnus or alumna, please let us know by emailing email@example.com. We would like to include you in our database!