Featured Updates from General Seminary
Two Episcopal seminaries: Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) and General Theological Seminary (GTS), today announced the creation of an exciting innovative joint project focused on the future of the church.
When asked about the importance of this conference, Stace responded, “Religious institutions have an opportunity to save lives.” She went on to cite several studies that indicated the significant decrease of depression and suicide rates among transgender people and discovering a genuinely affirming religious community.
It is a reminder that we are people of Christ, not of architecture. Our God transcends the walls we have built, our faith is too big to be gated in. There will always be a place for soaring church towers, but there is also a place for the living room, the gym, the food truck, and the street corner.
The story of Mary and Martha always leaves me a bit defensive. Feels like Martha gets a bad rap. After all, she’s the one who is doing all the things: inviting, planning, purchasing, cleaning, cooking, greeting at the door, serving, and cleaning up again.
Cuba is personal. As debate went well into the evenings in committee at the 79th General Convention in Austin—culminating with the readmission of the Diocese of Cuba into the Episcopal Church after 52 years—I could not help but remember my first experience with the island.
The elderly woman in the hospital bed motioned toward the television and said, “No, don’t pray for me, pray for those children. Pray that they are reunited with their families.” This lady, who had fled the Soviet Union in the 1990s, understood what it meant to leave country and family behind.
“How are the boys?”
It’s a perfectly reasonable question and I hear it all the time from friends and colleagues whom I haven’t seen for a while. When I signed the big book at Matriculation in the fall of 2002 as a member of the Junior MDiv class, I had three children under five: identical twin four-year-old boys and an infant son.
As the candle was lit and the cedar wood essential oil passed around to apply to their wrists, forty voices began to sing, “God is here, As true as the air I breathe.”
This fall semester, the Rev. Dr. April Stace will lead a workshop and teach an intensive course at General called Translucent: A Spiritual Care for Trans* Families. Stace has worked with and been close to the spiritual lives of the trans* community since her chaplaincy, both in and, perhaps especially, outside of the church. “In a lot of ways,” says Stace, who also has a trans* partner, “being with [my partner] during various stages of the transition and coming out process is the best experience I have."