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Bishop Sauls Takes a Risk

"Without risk, faith is just safety and security without adventure," said Rev. Stacy Sauls in his recent address to Berea College's convocation audience. "It is in the adventure that we are saved."

Bishop Stacy Sauls and other images from Sept. 28's convocation.

Bringing his message of faith, risk and love to Berea, Rev. Stacy Sauls, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington and recent finalist for the appointment of Presiding Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, spoke at the convocation on Sept. 28 as part of "Accent on Christian Faith Week", sponsored by the Campus Christian Center, Berea College Convocations and the Ruth Pister-Hampel Memorial Fund.

Sauls stressed the "adventure of being faithful" as his mission, but also spoke about the actions that must be taken to ensure that people love each other instead of erecting barriers. He said it is important to have a "relationship with the oppressed," describing a few examples from his church. "There is no way to release the oppressed or ourselves except through relationships."

"We must break down every artificial barrier that separates people from one another," said Sauls. He added, "Artificial barriers," such as those of sexism, racism, homophobia and social class, "are of our own creation, not God's creation."

It is important to live life fully, love others and take risks with faith, Sauls emphasized. "God is not going to want to know we made it home," said Sauls, "he is going to want to know what adventure we had getting there."

During his time at Berea for "Accent on Christian Faith Week," Sauls also led worship services in Danforth Chapel on three occasions. His series of sermons was titled "Challenges of Being a Christian in the Age of the Quick Fix." He spoke on topics such as idolatry, fundamentalism, politics and the role of the Christian church in fighting for justice. Sauls's convocation speech was titled "Mission as the Real Cure to What Ails Us."

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Sauls has been Bishop of Lexington since 2000. He has served on many boards and committees within the Episcopal Church and helped found a clinic, a food bank and an alternative school. Sauls had practiced law for five years before entering the General Theological Seminary in 1985. He graduated Cum Laude in 1988 and served at several churches before coming to Lexington. He has a strong interest in ministry with Hispanics, the homeless, people with AIDS and the youth of the Lexington Diocese.

The convocation on Sept. 28 also featured a performance by the Concert Choir, led by Stephen Bolster. The choir sang an American gospel spiritual called "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho," making use of stunning overlapping vocals and skilled range to inspire their audience.

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