Who is Father Paul?
Created by Kelli Edwards in celebration of Fr. Paul Edwards' 80th birthday. The video was shown at Emmanuel Episcopal of Fullerton, CA on April 29, 2012, during the church wide celebration of Fr. Paul's birthday.
Sometimes I wish I could say I was an outstanding athlete-scholar and theologian. Instead I spent most of my early days struggling with academic courses and sitting on the bench. I did have my great moments both in the class and on the field. Sometimes I wish they were more.
However most of the time I am filled with joy because of who I am and what has happened to me. I happened to have met and married a beautiful and wonderful woman, Anita. We have together raised three wonderful sons. I have had the opportunity of serving as an Episcopal Priest for over fifty years. There are no regrets as I look back on my life. My time living in New York City, Hartsdale New York, Bronxville High School, The University of the South, Union theological Seminary, Service as curate at St John’s Yonkers New York and then a Military Chaplain at Fort Gordon, Augusta Georgia, a tour with the First Cavalry in Korea, Chaplain at Sewanee Military Academy and finally in 1963 the call to start Emmanuel Mission in Fullerton California. There I stayed until I retired in 1994.
There have been difficult times such as losing the reading sight of my left eye to glaucoma, being involved in a fatal accident when a person ran in front of my car on a dark street, going through two by pass surgeries, and recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was a good thing for me I had received the anointing of the Holy Spirit before all this happened. Being in the Presence of God’s Love makes a difference when going through difficult times.
Since coming to Emmanuel there have been many good times like becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist after ten years of study between job, family and personal life. The best of times started with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. It led us to holding the first West Coast Episcopal Charismatic Conference, and then about five more. The lesson I learned was the Holy Spirit is life. It does not stop. Don’t get used to liking what you have because “the best is yet to come”. I spent the first twenty five years of my ministry attending conferences, listening to sermons, and reading books. I did not know what I was looking for. Then suddenly I hit the “Mother Lode”. Since then for the next twenty five years I have not felt the need for conferences, sermons or books because you cannot find the secret of the Mother Lode there.
When we look at different things in the same way we learn more about what we already know. When we look at the same things in a different way we discover new things. That is the secret of the Mother Lode. It is wondering what difference it makes when we are out of His grace and feeling unloved, unhappy and insecure or when we are in and feeling His Love, Joy, Peace and having the Wisdom that comes with His grace. You cannot teach this you can only discover it. You cannot explain it you can only point to it. You cannot memorize it you can only do it. Once that happens, it is no secret what God can do for others and for you.
The Rev. Canon Paul Edwards