The Rev. Kerlin Richter, Class of 2013, has been selected by the Beatitudes Society as one of eight emerging faith leaders from across the U.S. to receive the annual Beatitudes Fellowship award. Richter is the founding priest of Bushwick Abbey, a new Episcopal Church plant in Brooklyn, New York. About Bushwick Abbey, Richter says, “We are boldly proclaiming God’s love for all people regardless of sexual orientation, economic status, or religious background. We are focused on reaching out to people who didn’t know there was a church that was all about welcoming everyone and about justice and peace, while being deeply biblical.
“We are an open and deeply accessible church,” Richter explains. “One of our goals is to lower a lot of the thresholds that keep people from coming to church. One of the ways we do this is by meeting in a bar, and having dogs welcome at our services. I think a lot of people worry about ‘getting it right’ in a worship setting and having a dog bark during the sermon eases up the expectations for everyone.
“The spiritual heart of Bushwick Abbey is worship. We come together to question, to practice, and to explore incarnation as all-inclusive love. We bring our whole creative selves to ancient Christian practices and discover them again for the first time. We are committed to learning, sharing and celebrating the stories of Bushwick. We are partnering with artists, performers, eco-justice advocates, writers, community organizers, readers, lawyers, poets, and musicians. We are learning each other’s languages and dreaming together.”
The Beatitudes Fellowship identifies and equips a select group of young entrepreneurial faith leaders with the resources and relationships that empower them to create new models for church and social justice, and grow vital communities of faith in a pluralistic world.
“We are delighted that Kerlin is one of our game-changing new leaders,” said the Rev. Anne Howard, Executive Director of The Beatitudes Society. “We are working toward the day when we will see a thriving nationwide web of courageous, authentic, innovative faith leaders and their communities who are engaged in the public square on behalf of inclusion, compassion, and the common good, and Kerlin will be a vital part of that network.”