Paula Jackson '85 Receives 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award [PHOTOS]

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On May 10, 2016, during the Alumni Memorial Eucharist in the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, the Rev. Paula M. Jackson, Class of 1985, accepted the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from The General Theological Seminary. The Rev. Dr. R. Scott White, Class of 1996, and President of the Alumni Executive Committee, was Celebrant at the service, and Jackson was the preacher. In his remarks as he presenting her with the award, White thanked Jackson “for being a witness to the Gospel, in ways that many of us still only hope to become. You serve as a witness of Jesus to a world in desperate need of his grace and you serve as a model to all who are called to the vocation of priesthood. And especially on this day, you serve as an example of the ways in which, we pray, the formation and education found here at General will flourish and come to flower.”

Jackson has been the Rector of the multicultural Church of Our Saviour/La Iglesia de Nuestro Salvador in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1990. She has been a voice and witness for the beauty of human diversity, and the urgency and necessity of justice and equity for all people. Her parish became officially bilingual in 2006, and a Parroquia de Santuario in 2007. Its non-profit, Transformations CDC, is an umbrella for advocacy, education, empowerment, and microdevelopment opportunities with underserved immigrant families and neighbors.

Jackson has been a Deputy to General Convention in 2015, 2012, and 2009, and a 1st Alternate in 2006. In 2015, she vetted, authored, and/or enlisted sponsors for successful resolutions on Birthright Citizenship and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Guatemalan and other refugees for whom return to their original countries puts them at risk. In 2012, she testified on a successful Resolution calling for a moratorium on “Secure Communities” practices and racial profiling in immigration enforcement.

Jackson has been the recipient of numerous humanitarian awards; most recently, the League of United Latin American Citizens Cincinnati Human Rights Award, and is a member of the Board of the Cincinnati Interfaith Worker Justice Center. She is the author of Transformation: A Way to Freedom– Conversations with the Book of Exodus and What Does the Bible Say about Being Gay? – Probably not what you’ve been told!

The Memorial Eucharist is held each year to honor and pray for those graduates of The General Theological Seminary whose deaths have been recorded over the past year. The Rev. Dr. Richard Corney, Class of 1957, and Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, read the names aloud during the service.

Click here to download the text of Jackson’s sermon

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award are graduates of the Seminary in either priestly or lay orders. Candidates may be put forth on the basis of lifetime achievement or to honor significant accomplishment that brought credit both to the Church and to General. Nominees may be well known, or credited with inspiring yet unheralded ministries.

The Call for Nominations for the 2017 Award is now open. For complete information and eligibility requirements click here or email gtsalumniae@gts.edu. Nominations must be received by October 1, 2017.