By Alexander Martin (Class of 2013) For ten days at the beginning of this month I had the privilege of attending the Episcopal Church’s General Convention. I was there as a representative of General Seminary and spent most of my time staffing the GTS booth in the exhibit hall. We had a really good group of people there--both students and staff--and we all had a great week.
It was fun to be in the exhibit hall, on what we quickly dubbed "Seminary Row," where many other seminaries had booths and I spent quite a bit of time with new friends from EDS, CDSP, SSW, and Candler. Another student, Mike Rau (MDiv '13, Diocese of PA), and I found a way to travel the two blocks to Panera without going outside into the 100-degree heat, so we had Panera for lunch ten days in a row. Don't judge... it was awesome.
The GTS booth looked great and we got to meet tons of alumni, friends, and prospective students. We gave away free GTS shirts and had iPads at the booth that showed 360-degree interactive images of the Close and some top ten videos (reasons to attend GTS, places in Chelsea, etc.). We also had a GTS Digital Formation booth that highlighted General's commitment to 21st century technology to essentially do the same thing we've always done, but in new ways. We did daily live video chats with various faculty members back on the Close.
Twitter was blowing up at #GC77! I tweeted from convention on behalf of the Seminary and our Digital Formation booth ran a TweetDeck that made it easy to follow all the action happening live at convention. Follow GTS on Twitter @GeneralSeminary and follow me @_alexmartin_
Staffing the booth was easy because my two years at General have been incredibly transformative and I love GTS. It's easy to sell something you love. We hosted a dinner on one of the last nights of convention and approximately 160 GTS alumni, friends, and trustees attended to celebrate our heritage and to look toward the Seminary's bright future.
Aside from my GTS responsibilities, I had the opportunity to sit in on a few legislative sessions. This was my first General Convention, so there was a lot of learning, but being there with Episcopalians from all across the church, and Anglicans from all over the world, made me feel more connected to the wider Church than ever before.