On April 3, the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston presented the 2014 Kay Butler Gill Lecture, "OMG: Spirituality in the Digital Age." He spoke of the development of a unique spiritual community: an inter-religious, international congregation of people from many distinctive backgrounds, all linked by a shared response to a spiritual vision that is both pragmatic and poetic. Each morning he compresses a single spiritual thought into a few concise words and posts it on Facebook, the largest social network in human history. The result is an ever-growing community of thousands that may tell us something about the evolution of faith into the far horizons of both the human spirit and human technology.
Bishop Charleston is a Native American elder from the Choctaw Nation, a bishop in The Episcopal Church, and the founder of Red Moon Publications. Thousands read his spiritual meditations posted daily on Facebook, some of which have been collected in his two books, Hope as Old as Fire and Cloud Walking, widely acclaimed for their deep spiritual vision and for their ability to bring people of widely different faith journeys together. He is also author of the newly published novel, The Bishop of Mars. He has served as the national director for Native American ministries in The Episcopal Church, the Bishop of Alaska, and the President and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School. Currently, he is Visiting Professor of Native American Theology at the Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University.
Bp. Charleston has kindly provided the text of his lecture here.
The Kay Butler Gill Lecture reaches scholars, graduate students, spiritual directors, clergy, and guests interested in topics of spirituality. Past lecturers have included Tilden Edwards, Roberta Bondi, Margaret Guenther, Martin Smith, Janet Ruffing, Robin Jensen, and John Philip Newell.
Bringing eminent scholars and spiritual teachers to the seminary is made possible by donations to lecture's endowment, initially established by a generous grant from the estate of Kay Butler Gill, a graduate of General Seminary and the Center for Christian Spirituality. She cared about the spiritual life: After her education and formation here for a ministry of spiritual direction, she spent many years serving the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, offering retreats and quiet days and holding, as she so eloquently described it, "spiritual conversations with others."
If you wish to contribute to the endowment, click here and choose to designate your gift to the Center for Christian Spirituality in memory of Kay Butler Gill.