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St. John in the Wilderness welcomes summer scholar

For nearly 150 years the Episcopal Church of St. John in the Wilderness was a summer parish that welcomed a guest priest in the warmer months to share the sacraments and proclaim the Gospel.

Beginning Sunday, July 4, the parish brings back the tradition by welcoming the Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Brosend, PhD. He will be preaching and teaching as part of the Summer Scholar-in-Residence Program each week until Aug. 1.
The public is invited to attend the services each Sunday to hear Dr. Brosend at the 8:45 a.m. or 11 a.m. service. No RSVP is required.
Originally ordained in the Baptist tradition, Brosend has been an Episcopal priest for two decades. He is currently professor of New Testament at the School of Theology The University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, where he has served in various capacities since 2006. He especially enjoys equipping Episcopal seminarians to become better readers of Scripture and more engaging preachers.
In addition to preaching at both services on Sundays, Brosend will offer a month-long course called “Parables of the Kingdom.” He will offer a session between services (10:05-10:45) each Sunday across the street from the church in the Parish House’s Wilderness Room. On Thursday evenings, join Dr. Brosend for dinner at 5:30 p.m. and class from 6 to 7 p.m. So food is not wasted, please RSVP for the Thursday dinners on the church website or by contacting the church office. The dinners are $6/person or $12/family. Each session with Brosend will be unique so participants can join in on Sundays and Thursday.
“This July, parishioners and neighbors will go on a journey with Jesus through the short stories he told to illustrate what the Kingdom of God is all about,” said Fr. Josh Stephens, the Rector of St. John. “Dr. Brosend is bringing a seminary quality course to us that will deeply shape our discipleship and how we understand our role in the world as followers of Jesus. Don’t miss out on this unique chance to study with an expert.”
While in Flat Rock, Dr. Brosend will be working on a book, Parable: A Commentary on the Stories of Jesus, to be published by Baker Academic Press in 2022. He hopes to find opportunities each week to talk about the parables, and also to talk about parish life, ministry and the future of the church. For more information contact the church office at 828-693-9783 or visit