15 Questions with Jonathan L. Walton
Reverend Jonathan L. Walton, Pusey Minister in Memorial Church and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, sits in his crimson-walled office, wearing a black suit and royal purple shirt. Walton was appointed in April 2012 to the position previously held by the late Reverend Peter J. Gomes. Tributes to his sports fanaticism decorate his office: A basketball signed by Tommy Amaker sits atop one of the bookshelves. FM munched on some peanut M&M’s with Walton, and talked about Memorial Church air conditioners, tailgates at Sparks House and his 3-month-old son Baldwin.
1. Fifteen Minutes: Again, congratulations on the new position! A few months into your duties as Pusey Minister, do you finally feel that you have settled into this new role?
Jonathan L. Walton: I’m learning that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m trying to keep that in mind. I’m having a wonderful time, and the people and the community have been so supportive. And I think that’s made all the difference.
2. FM: What psalm do you think would be most appropriate to describe your current state of mind as Minister?
JLW: “Psalm 121.” It’s the psalm that says “I would look to the hills from whence cometh my help. All of my help comes from the Lord.”
3. FM: What is its significance for you?
JLW: My prayer life has been enriched by being in this position. I go to bed every night just thankful for all that I’ve been given. So I’ve really been looking to the Lord both for sustenance and in appreciation.
4. FM: Surely there have been some surprises along the way—what have you encountered that you didn’t expect when you accepted the position?
JLW: I’ve been surprised by how busy everyone is at this University, waking up every day and looking at my calendar and seeing that I’m running from meeting to meeting. I thought I was busy before as a member of the faculty, and I thought I was busy if I couldn’t get three hours of reading in or two hours of writing. Now if I have 15 minutes to take a break, that would be a surprise.
5. FM: With such little time on your hands, what do you do for fun?