Welcome Fr. Edwin M. Beckham, new Priest-in-Charge at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Covington, who began his ministry there February 1.
Fr. Beckham is looking forward to doing some intentional visioning work with the vestry and people of Good Shepherd and selecting a handful of projects on which to focus for the coming two years, projects that will enhance worship opportunities, deepen Christian formation for all ages, and more firmly establish Good Shepherd's place in the Covington community as a center of Christ-like compassion for those in greatest need.
Father Edwin was ordained a priest June 29, 2008 at our diocesan Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, having been sent to The (Episcopal) Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas by Bishop Alexander in 2005. Roswell was the Beckham's home prior to Austin, where Fr. Edwin worked in software training and documentation and his wife, Laura, taught high-school English literature. The Beckhams have also lived back in their hometown of Greenville, South Carolina, where son Simon was born, and in Silver Spring, Maryland, where son Eliot was born while Fr. Edwin was pursuing grad studies in U.S. civil rights history. It was Emmanuel parish in Athens that shepherded Laura and Edwin through inquirers' classes just over 20 years ago, when, like so many young adults, they were seeking a tradition both more open and more ancient. Confirmation by Bishop Frank Allan followed in spring 1992, bringing them into the Episcopal fold for the duration!
At Emmanuel Fr. Edwin has supervised youth and young adult ministries and delighted in fully sharing the liturgical, preaching, teaching, and pastoral responsibilities of the clergy staff. He enjoys dancing with his wife but doesn't do it enough; worries that he'll never come close to Simon & Eliot's skills at chess, guitar, soccer, and video games – not to mention musical theatre; gets downtime by putting his canoe onto a river for a couple of days and nights; and loves music, from The Clash to The Chieftains, U2 to Hildegaard von Bingen, Woody Guthrie to Aaron Copeland, and R.E.M. to John Tavener. Look for him to comment now and then on culture, the Church, music, and family life on Facebook, Twitter (@ComradeBecks), and at pilgrimofsorts.blogspot.com.