Center Aisle is (bios below)…

The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Thirteenth Bishop of Virginia
The Rev. Deacon Ed Jones, editor
Ed Keithly, managing editor (@EGKDioVa)
Aisha Huertas Michel, communications director
Kendall Martin, communications officer
Gail Goldsmith, staff writer (@gailagoldsmith)
Rachel Shows, staff writer
Jeffrey Stevenson, staff writer (@DCJeff)

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The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Thirteenth Bishop of Virginia

Bishop Johnston leads one of the largest dioceses of the Episcopal Church, with oversight of more than 450 clergy and some 80,000 parishioners in 181 congregations. While he expresses discomfort with the current labels in today’s Episcopal Church, Bishop Johnston is a vocal centrist, although he freely admits to being “on the Left” for the personal and societal questions besetting the Church, while standing “on the Right” for Anglicanism’s life and present concerns. Holding such positions simultaneously is testament to his commitment to a preeminent theology of community in the Church’s life—a community in which our commitment is to one another in the Lord Jesus Christ rather than to like-mindedness in our own associations.

Center Aisle takes its lead from Bishop Johnston’s commitment to a shared life in Jesus Christ, believing that the Church does itself a disservice when it simply seeks to find the palatable solution between two parties; instead, we are at our best when we engage in vigorous discourse while remembering that we are called to share the same feast. In that spirit, the “center” we are called to is not the midpoint of a line between extremes, but the center of a circle–the core of faith that unites us at the foot of the cross.

The Rev. Deacon Ed Jones, editor

Ed Jones has served as editor of Center Aisle since 2000. Between stints editing Center Aisle, he serves as secretary and chief of staff of the Diocese of Virginia. He joined diocesan staff in March 2013 after a 40-year career at the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.  Ed is a vocational deacon serving at St. Mary’s, Colonial Beach. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Ed and his wife, Peggy, live in Fredericksburg.

Ed Keithly, managing editor

This is Ed Keithly’s second time at General Convention, and first time as Center Aisle’s managing editor. Ed serves the Diocese of Virginia as deputy director of transition ministry, working with churches in search and managing the ordination process. He joins Center Aisle after founding and managing The View from the Mountain, the blog for Shrine Mont Camps, the Diocese of Virginia’s summer camp program. He graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2010 with a B.A. in English. He lives in Richmond, Virginia. You can follow Ed on Twitter as @EGKDioVa or @centeraisle for #GC78 news, updates, and conversation.

On the Diocese of Virginia’s staff, Ed Jones is also known as “Ed the Elder” and Ed Keithly as “Ed the Younger.” 

Aisha Huertas Michel, communications director

Aisha Huertas Michel joined the diocesan staff in May as communications director. She comes to us with more than a decade of experience in communications, policy work and marketing. Most recently, Aisha has served as Associate Director of Public Policy and Communications for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia and as Director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. Born in Puerto Rico, Aisha is fluent in Spanish. Aisha holds a B.A. in communications from Louisiana College, and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston.

Kendall Martin, communications officer

Kendall serves the Diocese of Virginia as communications and special projects officer, providing support in the way of diocesan-wide communications, social media, visioning work for the Virginia Episcopalian and providing website training and resources to church communicators. Kendall also assists the Diocese with grant writing and special initiatives. Kendall is excited to build on her work with the diocesan DioDocs blog as she begins her first year as editor of The View from the Mountain. Before joining the diocesan staff, Shespent close to a decade working in publishing and communications. Kendall graduated from James Madison University, Va in 2004 with a B.A. in English. She lives in Richmond, Va with her husband and two sons. This is her first time at General Convention.

Gail Goldsmith, staff writer

Gail Goldsmith recently graduated from the Master of Divinity program at The University of Chicago Divinity School. While in Chicago, she served at All Saints’ Episcopal and its community kitchen and food pantry, and worked as a volunteer coordinator for a program linking University of Chicago students with non-profits on the South Side. She is a member of Immanuel Old Church, Virginia. This August, she will be starting as an ACPE Chaplain Resident at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC. You can find her on Twitter as @gailagoldsmith for #GC78 news, updates, and conversation.

Rachel Shows, staff writer

Rachel Shows is a postulant for priesthood in the Diocese of Virginia entering her senior year at Virginia Theological Seminary. She is Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, Alexandria’ seminarian and will spend the rest of her summer serving Grace and La Gracia, Alexandria in a full-time internship. At VTS she serves as class secretary and sings in the choir. She met her fiancé, James, in seminary, and she looks forward to serving alongside him the future. Rachel makes time outside studies for reading, animal rights advocacy, running, enjoying nature, and playing with her cat, Callie. This is her first General Convention.

Jeffrey Stevenson, staff writer

Jeffrey Stevenson is Center Aisle’s native Utahan. He grew up in a Mormon family in the little towns of Sunset and Farmington just north of Salt Lake City. He left Utah to enlist in the Navy and became an Intelligence Specialist; it was during these years that he first discovered the Episcopal tradition. In 2002, Jeff left the Navy and stayed in Virginia where he worked as a national security consultant with the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Shortly after he left the Navy Jeff met his Fiancé Noah, and they have been a life-sized version of Bert and Ernie ever since. Jeff was recently accepted as a postulant for the priesthood in the Diocese of Virginia and will begin his Masters of Divinity at VTS in fall 2015. Jeff views his return home to Salt Lake City as a blessing that marks the start of a new chapter of his life and ministry. You can find him on Twitter as @DCJeff for #GC78 news, updates, and conversation.

Contact Us

Email: Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to get Center Aisle delivered to your inbox. Send us your questions and comments at This email will be first sent to Ed Keithly, managing editor. To contact a specific writer, please put the writer’s name in the subject line.
TwitterCenter Aisle is on Twitter, as are many of its staff, including Ed Keithly (@EGKDioVa), Gail Goldsmith (@gailagoldsmith) and Jeffrey Stevenson (@DCJeff).
FacebookCenter Aisle is everywhere.
General Convention’s Official Media HubClick here for the General Convention media hub, including resources, calendar and live stream.

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