The Common Good
January-February 1998

A Time To Act

by Jim Wallis | January-February 1998

Several notes and e-mails commented on the mention of my then wife-to-be in my column
last month.

Several notes and e-mails commented on the mention of my then wife-to-be in my column last month. Since the interest has been so great, with more information being sought, I thought I would provide a brief personal life update, something I don’t often do in these columns.

Joy Carroll and I were married on October 25 in Streatham’s Immanuel Church, London, where she has been serving as the Anglican priest. A truly wonderful service and a lively reception complete with Indian food was followed by a great working-class English party where we danced the night away. Needless to say, a good time was had by all, especially the bride and groom.

Following a completely relaxing honeymoon, we returned to Washington, where Joy will serve as a priest at Grace Episcopal Church. She also begins work on a book about her remarkable experience as both one of the first ordained women in the Church of England and an inner-city priest—who then became a prominent spokesperson in the church and the media for women and others marginalized in society. As the inspiration and role model for a highly successful British comedy series called The Vicar of Dibley, Joy became a symbol for a more open, modern, and inclusive church.

The experience of meeting Joy, carrying on a two-year trans-Atlantic relationship, and now settling in to a new married life has taught me lessons never really known before. They are about the grace of a God who gives second chances, the satisfactions that go deeper than the best of good work, and the personal happiness that changes one’s perception of the most mundane realities of everyday life. As I said in my groom’s speech at the wedding reception (an English tradition), "I’ve found a wonderful woman of great substance and passion, and these feel like the best days of my life."

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