Summer seminarian nears end of visit to Christ Church in Warwick

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    WARWICK-Parishioners at Christ Church Warwick welcomed a new face this summer: seminarian Jeff Huston. Huston, who has completed his second year of a three-year program of study for the priesthood at Virginia Theological Seminary, is assisting Father Scott Barker through Aug.15th with the many aspects of running a small parish. In conversation recently in his small, sunny office at Christ Church, Huston discussed his calling to the priesthood and the events that led him to Warwick for the summer. Jeff first began to identify his religious calling as a young person growing up in Tulsa Oklahoma, through his involvement with his local parish. Throughout his teens, he became more active in his church, but at the time, he did not consider that his interest would necessarily lead to a religious vocation. He continued to respond to the call of his faith by becoming involved on both a state and a national level with church related activities. Jeff's work included 4 seasons as counselor at an Episcopal summer camp. The rector of his home parish, Father Shelbey Scott of St. Patrick's in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, recognized Jeff's potential, and joked often, asking him when he would finally consider becoming a priest. Jeff resisted the pull of the conversation, but he was beginning to seriously consider where his devotion to the faith would lead him. Eventually, Jeff graduated from Drury University in Missouri with his degree in History. On the heels of graduation however, Huston knew he was ready to work in a church, but he still had not determined in what capacity. He had heard about Episcopal internships and decided to pursue the opportunity. Jeff interned at "Resurrection House" in Omaha, Nebraska, a program for Christian vocational discernment run, at that time, by Christ Church's Father Scott Barker. Here, Jeff was able to spend a year living in community with a group of 3 devout people. The group lived by a strict "rule of life" which determined when the group would pray and work together. Under the guidance of Father Barker, Jeff found an opportunity to learn about life/work in the church and explore his spiritual calling, and as Jeff put it, "be really intentional about learning and discerning what God wanted for me." Within a year, Jeff was a seminarian. He quickly began a year of "discernment" back home at St. Patrick's in Broken Arrow. He spent the time there as a lay pastor, performing the many duties required of a parish priest: pastoral visits, bible studies, preaching and working in church programs and administration. He continued his studies at Virginia Theological Seminary where he will graduate with a Masters in Divinity in May 2005. His hosts for his stay in Warwick are parishioners Lynn and Sandy Pike.