The Rev. Canon Michael Rusk

Denomination: The Episcopal Church (TEC)
Organization: St. Peter's Church, Parish of Oadby, Leicester, UK


Michael Rusk was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1958. Growing up during The Troubles, he attended Methodist College, Belfast while attending the Anglican Parish of St Simon of which his father was the Church of Ireland Rector. The church was in the fiercely loyalist Donegal Road part of the city and was burned down and rebuilt during The Troubles. Following Methodist College's fine tradition of producing classicists, Michael gained a place at Jesus College, Cambridge where he took degrees in Classics and Theology. After a curacy near Manchester, Michael became a university chaplain in the Cathedral City of Durham, in the north-east of England, where he combined pastoral work with teaching Classics in the University. In 1990 Michael was appointed Priest-in-Charge of St John's Nevilles Cross: a church on the outskirts of Durham. Through the 1990s, St John's became the fastest growing church in the north east of England, being noted for its diverse vibrant worship, excellent preaching, and warm fellowship. It has proved to be the seedbed of many today's leaders and scholars in the Anglican Communion - among them Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury; John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford; and Canon Dr. Chuck Robertson of the Episcopal Church.

In 1999, Michael was appointed Rector of Oadby in the Diocese of Leicester in the East Midlands of England. Oadby is a large multi-ethnic suburban parish in an area of fast demographic change. The beautiful medieval church of St Peter's dates back to 1253. It has a vibrant, creative congregation that has combined a fine aesthetic for music and the creative arts with pioneering partnerships of working with vulnerable adults. Michael is a Canon of St Martin's Cathedral Leicester and together with the Dean is responsible for preparing the cathedral for the anticipated burial of King Richard III whose remains were unearthed after a spectacular archaeological dig close-by the Cathedral in 2013. The Cathedral is currently awaiting the outcome of a judicial review that takes place in March 2014.

In recent years, Michael, along with his colleague, the Revd. Bonnie Evans-Hills, has emerged as an expert in Christian-Muslim dialogue. Their book entitled Engaging Islam from a Christian Perspective is to be published this year in the Studies in Episcopal and Anglican Theology Series. Michael believes that working in a community where there are significant numbers of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs offers the church a great opportunity to demonstrate and to share the radical inclusive love of Christ with everyone of whatever faith.

Canon Rusk has a particular interest in two areas: the first is to attend to people and to society in their brokenness: "speaking about disappointment really touches people where it hurts. The Church is called to sing the gospel in the minor key." Secondly, he advocates that the church should develop a theology of play: "when we play, we relax and become attractive to others. Christians are called to be absorbed in God just as a child is absorbed in play. It is a way of rediscovering Eden. It is irresistibly attractive."

Canon Rusk enjoys classical music; French film and culture; hill walking; and cooking for his three children.



Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Canon Michael Rusk

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Walking on Water

Tuesday August 05, 2014
The Rev. Canon Michael Rusk says that on a storm-tossed night on the sea of Galilee, Jesus reveals himself uniquely as the one endowed with the power of the creator God, the one to whom he has prayed all night. As he called Peter out of the boat, this Jesus calls us to step out of our comfort zones to offer the presence of God in the world.