Crystal Hardin’s non-definitive guide on how to comport yourself around your theological heroes: “I admire people who approach their hero boldly. They introduce themselves, say hello, make a substantive comment of some sort, and move on. How they manage this, I’ll never know.”
Center Aisle is the Diocese of Virginia's General Convention opinion journal. We seek radical centrism: not splitting the difference between opposing views but binding those voices together in our shared faith. We hope Center Aisle will help the Church guide Episcopalians from their pews towards the shared table and into the world.
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The Rev. Randy Alexander, rector of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Alexandria: “During this Convention, my first as a deputy, I have been thinking a lot about what really holds together this vast array of folks and ministries and causes. In a gathering like this, we can lose perspective when we’re focused on resolutions and when we’re staking claims for funding for our own important ministries.”
There are many ways that a General Convention is like a fabulous ingathering. Certainly, there is serious work going on here, but it is nice to be surrounded by so many people who are in love with this Church. The question I’m left pondering is how many of these people are equally in love with Jesus?
In 1966, the House of Bishops expelled the Diocese of Cuba from the Episcopal Church in, as some describe it, an action outside of our constitutional responsibilities. Under an oppressive regime, the Episcopal Church in Cuba survived in the living rooms of the grandmothers who maintained the practices and relationships. They continued to minister to one another in Christ’s name.
We’re getting to know the thousands of Episcopalians here at GC79, a handful at a time. Here’s Center Aisle’s second installment of our world-famous series (read: Church-famous series), Humans of General Convention!
When the time came for Committee 13 to hear testimony on resolutions related to marriage liturgies, people came to the microphones and spoke their truth, often with boldness and profound vulnerability, and always with conviction. Some rose to speak of how meaningful it had been for the Church finally to recognize and to bless their relationships. Others rose to express their concern about the impact on ecumenical dialogue that could result from defining marriage as a covenant between two people.
“People who are called to serve should not be dissuaded by the process of seeking options to fulfill their call,” the Rev. Dr. Susanna Singer asserted. She went on to explain that, while traditional, residential seminary education has been normative for many years, the rise of highly adaptive virtual classrooms allowing for low-residency education, as well as expanded options for local formation mixed with seminary study, now offer a larger range of opportunities with expanded access.