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Alumni Spotlight July 2016

Joshua Messick '11

Joshua Messick '11BA - Philosophy
Minor in Religious Studies
Fulton School

MAJOR FIELD OF STUDY: Philosophy

MINOR FIELD OF STUDY: Religious Studies

CURRENT EMPLOYER: St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church, Pocomoke, MD

CURRENT OCCUPATION: Priest-in-Charge

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER PATH:

After graduating from SU I entered the Masters of Divinity program at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. I completed the three year program there and was subsequently ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church at Trinity Cathedral in Easton on June 7th, 2014. This is a process that all Episcopal Clergy go through. We begin by serving in the deaconate for a period of at least six months before being ordained to the priesthood. After this first ordination, I moved to Mississippi to accept the job as a curate at a really vibrant church there. Curates are ordained folks in their first jobs. They usually serve under an experienced priest. I worked there for a year and a half (and got married in July 2014) during which time my boss retired abruptly. I continued to serve as their curate until moving back to the Shore to accept the call to be Priest-in-Charge at St. Mary's in Pocomoke. A Priest-in-Charge is a position that is not tenured. The next step in the chain is becoming the Rector of a Parish. This is a tenured position where the priest really belongs to a congregation and vice versa. We are still "feeling out" our relationship and discerning whether to make it permanent with a mutual call to Rectorship.

                    
MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED WHILE ATTENDING SALISBURY UNIVERSITY:

The most important thing that I learned while attending SU was the importance of dialogue. The Philosophy program is all about critical thinking and then communicating ideas. Salisbury's Philosophy Department is really special. It doesn't just teach students to digest and then regurgitate facts and figures. It teaches students to do more than think philosophically, it helps them learn to live an examined life. I left understanding the importance of listening to others, the value of their personhood (even if I don't always agree with them), and how much it means to folks to know that they've been heard.

WHAT CAMPUS ACTIVITIES/ORGANIZATIONS WERE YOU INVOLVED WITH?

I was active in the Philosophical Society and the Athiest Society. The Athiest Society were a group of folks with whom I could have deep and rich conversations with. Our beliefs differed extremely (who would have thought?), but at the heart of our dialogue was a profound respect and willingness to listen and reflect.

BEST COLLEGE MEMORY:

Playing ping pong in the basement of the Philosophy House with my Biology Major friend. We played a lot and kept a running score on the chalkboard down there. We had to make up special rules, because the ceiling is so low that the ball would hit it often. We had some intense games that got pretty loud. I didn't realize for a long time that there was a vent down there that came out below the secretary's desk...I can't imagine some of the things she must have heard, but she never batted an eye!

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE SALISBURY UNIVERSITY?

I'm a third generation graduate. My grandfather attended when it was still Salisbury State Teachers College. I never planned on going anywhere else.

IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE SALISBURY UNIVERSITY IN THREE WORDS, WHAT WOULD THEY BE AND WHY?

Diverse (The campus is diverse, the student body is diverse, and there seems to be a place for everybody.) Green (There are so many wonderful plants and the grounds are kept so well! It's such a beautiful campus.) Open (Plenty of open spaces, open doors, open hearts.)

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT AND WHY?

Rehoboth Beach. It's quieter than OC. I mostly just want to sit around,read and take naps when I'm on vacation. I guess the hammock in my backyard is a close second.

GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:

I've made my mother in law laugh at least twice. It's a big deal.

WHAT IS SOMETHING PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I have an irrational fear of people in costumes. Like mascots and the folks at Disney World. Sherman the Shorebird makes me uncomfortable, but I'm okay with the Oriole Bird for some reason. Weird, right?

HOBBIES/OTHER INTERESTS:

Reading, napping, taking walks

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