I left one job and turned down my dream job as president of a great school because I have an improbable dream. I hope it is God’s dream.
Houston is a great city. I believe it is the American city of the twenty-first century. Here we have Christians with clout, but also diversity. One can minister to many nations and never leave the city limits. I cannot leave Houston because I think God called my family here.
God requires virtue in this age. Virtue can be taught, but it can only be taught from role models that live what they teach. We must have done with timeservers, syncophants, and grifters that are destroying education with laziness, cowardice, and greed. Education is a ministry and ministry requires character.
I believe God is calling His Church to wisdom in a confused age. We have no time for ideologues or intellectualism. We need to fear God and seek His truth. We must think, challenge, and explore. There is no wisdom in a school that does not empower teachers. We need a school that is about God and His teachers and not about the adminstration . . . especially me!
I believe God requires integrity in our schools. We must stop churning students. We must stop graduating students with mountains of debt. We must serve all God’s children and open doors to everyone. If the Church is to survive the next one hundred years, we must educate without compromise of our Christian convictions. We must count the cost, but we must never be stingy when it comes to supporting our children or there is no future for the Church.
I may be an adopted son of Antioch, but an adopted son is still a son. The evangelical message of Jesus and His love embraces me as we attend our parish of Saint Paul or worship with friends at Saint George or Saint Joseph. We are a strong Church, an American church, but we are more than merely American. We are global and our homelands are suffering.
I stand with my family at this time when our homeland the Church is suffering. If you want to know where God is, then find the suffering Church. Saint Constantine will be part of the parish life of the Orthodox Church. We will be guided by her pastors and taught wisdom by her laity. Nothing is more important to me.
I stand with Antioch. If we do not act, then nobody will act for us.
And yet . . . and yet . . . we are also called to minister to all God’s children. Nobody will be turned away. We will hire any Christian whose vision is compatible with our vision. By God’s grace, a new thing will be birthed: a college built on virtue, wisdom, integrity, and joy.
It is for this reason I have accepted the invitation of the Board of Directors of The Saint Constantine School to start (God willing!) a new primary, junior, highschool, and college program. There are many fine schools in Houston, but we have a chance to build a new school and college that combines virtue, wisdom, integrity . . . and joy.
The best schools in Houston know this: We must not educate based on fear of ideas, of the future, or for our jobs. We need a school where all ideas are examined, we are confident in Christ, and a family is formed.
What if all of this could be combined with the wisdom of Orthodoxy in service to all of Houston? This is a joyful thing . . .
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy. I cannot wait.