Today, June 19, we remember Adelaide Teague Case, who died seventy-one years ago. “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church” tells us that Dr. Case was “the first woman to be appointed to full professional rank in an Anglican seminary.” She was a theologian, librarian, professor, and writer, but she lived at a time before women could be ordained in the Episcopal Church.
We learn from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music for the Episcopal Church that “as an advocate for peace, [Dr. Case] believed that Christianity had a special vocation to call people into transformed, reconciled relationships for the sake of the wholeness of the human family. She is said to have discovered these things not in theology or educational theory, but in a life of common prayer and faithful eucharistic practice.”
As a lay person and a woman who works in higher education, I’m attracted to Dr. Case’s story. Even now that ordination is available to women, most people are not called to that vocation. Most of us, ordained or not, live in families or relationships that require some kind of transformation or reconciliation. And many of us, even if we don’t work in a setting of theological higher education, have access to “a life of common prayer and faithful eucharistic practice.”
By all accounts, Dr. Case was pioneering and hardworking, and her Christian ethos was lived well in her personal life, where she shared her home with students and others who may not have had a place to live. She was an activist and a highly accomplished academic, despite personal struggles with her health.
Equipping parents and educators to respond to these thirsty minds and inquisitive souls is so important to spread God’s word and love in the world. Dr. Case saw that need a century ago, and it is still relevant today.
Everliving God, who raised up your servant Adelaide Case, whose compassion and commitment to peace inspired generations of students: Grant that we, following her example, may serve you in our vocations, laboring for your reign of peace, through the companionship of Jesus Christ, your Saving Word; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
[Collect for Adelaide Teague Case used with permission by Church Publishing; Image Credit: Public Domain via Pixabay]