News from the Hill
VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
Alexandria, VA December 2010
Message from the Dean
Grace in Tragedy: Our Redemptive Path
Virginia Theological Seminary
The Rt. Rev. James J. Shand Chairman of the Board Ms. Sissy Poland Vice Chairman of the Board Dr. David H. Charlton Secretary/Treasurer The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Dean and President Mr. Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D. Vice President The Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D. Vice President Ms. Heather Zdancewicz Vice President, Assistant Treasurer & Assistant Secretary
t does not take much imagination to understand how tragic and difficult it is to watch a holy space burn over the course of 40 minutes or so. That was all it took for our beloved chapel of 129 years to burn, for the iconic window “Go ye into all the world” to disappear, and for the roof to go up in flames. It was a warm Friday afternoon; and it became a moment of shared tragedy as staff, faculty, students, and friends of the Seminary stood helplessly by watching the flames and smoke do their worst.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Mrs. Auguste J. Bannard (2011) Mr. David Booth Beers (2015) Mr. Julian M. Bivins, Jr. (2012) The Rev. Catherine M. Campbell (2014) The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane Dr. David H. Charlton (2011) The Rev. Canon Thomas G. Clarke (2012) The Rev. Dr. Harold J. Cobb, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Carlotta A. Cochran (2014) Dr. Lynwood D. I. Day (2013) Mr. W. Carter Doswell (2013) Mr. A. Hugh Ewing III (2013) The Rev. C. Neal Goldsborough (2015) Mrs. Martha W. High (2014) The Rt. Rev. Herman Hollerith IV Ms. Elizabeth Cabell Jennings (2014) The Rev. Allan B. Johnson-Taylor (2014) The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston The Rev. R. Kevin Kelly (2013) The Rt. Rev. William (Mike) Michie Klusmeyer The Rev. Thomas M. Kryder-Reid (2012) The Rev. Thomas A. Lacy II (2011) Mr. James R. Lowe, Jr. (2013) The Rev. Dr. Andrew J. MacBeth (2012) Mr. M. Lee Marston (2014) Ms. Sissy Poland (2012) The Rt. Rev. F. Neff Powell The Rev. Dr. Stanley W. Sawyer (2014) The Rev. Dr. William R. Shiflet, Jr. (2013) The Rt. Rev. Eugene T. Sutton Dr. William G. Thomas III (2015) The Rev. Christine R. Whittaker (2013) The Rev. J. Douglas Wigner, Jr. (2014)
The paradox of the “Great Thanksgiving” is that we are invited to thank God for the tragedy of a young man dying in his early 30s in Jerusalem. To give thanks for tragedy sounds so counter intuitive. But we do so because we believe, we affirm, that divine grace is present in the midst of tragedy. This is the Christian conviction: God is present in the hardest of moments. In the Great Thanksgiving, we affirm the greatest gift of all, that the tragic is the path to our redemption. We are constantly being invited to discern grace in tragedy. Over the last few weeks, I have lived with the question “for what should we be grateful in the midst of this tragedy?” Fortunately, there are some obvious answers. We are grateful that no one was hurt, no life was lost; we are grateful for the professionalism and effectiveness of the fire fighters; and we are grateful that the fire did not occur at 3:49 a.m., when we would have lost the entire Aspinwall Hall complex. And then there are some less obvious answers. I am deeply grateful for the response of the students. They have supported each other, prayed for each other, and thought imaginatively about the future. The President of the student body, Ms. Rebecca Edwards (candidate from the Diocese of East Tennessee), has been a model leader. She was present at the “Emergency Response Team” meeting the day after the fire and deliberated with dignity, thoughtfulness, and intelligence as she communicated between the administration and the students. The pastoral challenge has been significant. The volunteer alums who became chaplains for the community and the student chaplains have been outstanding. All of this was coordinated with wisdom and compassion by Dr. Amy Dyer, our Dean of Students. There are countless others who made a difference during the day of the fire and in the days and weeks afterward. God alone knows the true extent of their service. The Refectory was opened; the maintenance team worked long hours; the library opened its archives for the investigation and subsequent work on the insurance claim; faculty colleagues were available to students and alums as everyone struggled to come to terms. However, my greatest debt is to you – the reader of this editorial. It was you who prayed, who wept, who visited our website in disbelief, and who are now standing ready to make a difference in our future – for your love of our Seminary, I am deeply grateful.
The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian The Rev. Angela S. Ifill
Top: Firefighters worked through the night to put out the chapel fire (photo by David Gortner); Bottom: Chrissy Crosby gives a hug of gratitude to one of the Alexandria firefighters, (photo by B. Cayce Ramey).
The Rev. Robert W. Prichard, Ph.D. The Rev. William B. Roberts, Ph.D.
Ms. Rebecca Edwards (’11) Student Body President
News from the Hill is published three times per year (March, June, and December) for alumni and friends by the Office of Public Affairs, Virginia Theological Seminary, 3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304. Editorial comments should be directed to email@example.com.
On the Cover: VTS faculty member, the Rev. David Gortner, was on the scene of the chapel fire and took this amazing photo.
News from the Hill · December 2010
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Center for Anglican Communion Studies
Anglican Endeavours: ISTANBUL
SCOM Grant recipients, David and Heather Erickson, reflect about their summer immersion trip in Istanbul, Turkey.
he first week of our cultural immersion was spent in preparation for the Worldwide Said Nursi Gathering of Doctoral Dissertations. The conference was put on by our host organization, the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture (IFSC). This was a gathering of scholars completing doctoral dissertations on various aspects of thought of the Turkish Muslim theologian, Said Nursi. We lived on a floor with a brother and sister from Iraq, a man from Jakarta, another from India, and three people from Turkey. We shared meals and did some initial touring of Istanbul together. Thankfully there was enough overlap of languages that we could share simple thoughts with each other. I began to build friendships with people I had never expected to meet, and through them, to get a taste and understanding of how Islam is expressed globally.
Two VTS Graduates Appointed by Presiding Bishop as Special Coordinators for Haiti
This past September, the Rev. Joseph M. Constant (VTS ‘04) and the Rev. Dr. Rosemari Gaughan Sullivan (VTS ‘81) were appointed by the Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, as Special Coordinators for Haiti. The task of the Special Coordinators is to facilitate the multiple efforts among Episcopal churches, dioceses, networks, and organizations committed to the rebuilding of the Diocese of Haiti. Constant and Sullivan will work closely with Bishop Zaché Duracin and other leaders of the Diocese of Haiti.
Navajoland Highlighted During Native American Heritage Month
The presenters at the conference were diverse, coming from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Japan, Canada, and Turkey. The best part, however, was the informal time during coffee breaks and meals. Heather and I quickly discovered how important it was for us to be there as “American Christians” who were interested in learning about Islam from Muslims. Many of the Muslims we met believed that most Americans thought of them as terrorists. To meet an American who did not fit this stereotype was a transformative experience for those we met. It was also not lost on them that we were not just Americans, but faithful Christians, who desired to know who they were as faithful Muslims. During our last few days in Istanbul, we turned our attention to the Anglican aspects in modern day Istanbul. We went to church on Sunday at the
On the Holy Hill
VTS Launches New Online Journal on Church Canon Law
This past summer, VTS announced the launch of the Journal of Episcopal Church Canon. Edited by the Rev. Robert Prichard, Ph.D. (pictured right), The Arthur Lee Kinsolving Professor of Christianity in America and Instructor in Liturgics at VTS, this online publication is intended to be an effective resource. “This publication,” said Prichard, “provides an independent journal in which those who are interested in the particular tradition of canon law that we have in the Episcopal Church can exchange ideas and discuss matters of common interest.” The Journal of Episcopal Church Canon Law is published online twice a year in February and July on the VTS website (www. vts.edu/canonlaw). The publication is editorially independent and does not represent the opinions and ideas of anyone beyond its editor and other contributors.
Heather and David Erickson (both M.Div. ‘11) sole Anglican Church in Istanbul. We met the Rector, Father Ian Sherwood, who invited us over for tea to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Christian ministry in a predominantly Muslim state and culture. Unfortunately, there is a lot of unease and misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims in our world today, and both of these extend to seminary campuses. But by traveling to an Islamic country and getting to know Muslims, we now have the opportunity to share our personal experiences of how warm, generous, and God-loving they are. We can now expose people to an understanding of Islam that is loving, deeply practiced, and has many points in common with not just Christianity, but also Western secular values. X The Seminary Consultation on Mission (SCOM), formed under the Council of Episcopal Seminary Deans, Inc., strengthens the educational resources for national and international mission in the accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church.
On November 13-15, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, the Office of Racial and Ethnic Ministries, along with the student-led Native American Heritage Month Committee, welcomed G.J. Gordy and Marty Yelloweagle from St. Mark’s Chapel in the Diocese of Navajoland. Gordy and Yelloweagle shared their unique experience of being Episcopalian and Navajo, and spoke about the work of the Episcopal Church in Navajoland and their work in their home congregation, St. Mark’s, Coalmine, New Mexico.
Spanish Speaking School Kicks Off Second Session at VTS
In October 2010, VTS, in partnership with the Latino/Hispanic missioners and clergy of the Episcopal dioceses of Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland, initiated the second session of Escuela de Liderazgo, its school for Spanish speaking lay leaders serving in the Episcopal Church’s Spanish speaking congregations. Courses are designed to help in the formation of Latino/ Hispanic laity in the Washington DC metropolitan region. The sessions began with the Rt. Rev. Julio Holguin, bishop of the Dominican Republic, who served as workshop leader using the theme, “You will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
News from the Hill · December 2010
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
by the Honorable James A. Baker III
Soon after news of the fire broke, the Seminary received hundreds of messages of comfort from around the world. Here are just a few: “Mpho has sent me an email reporting on the fire in the chapel. I’m writing from India to send you and the Seminary community our heartfelt condolences on what has occurred.” God bless you, +Desmond Tutu “I am very sorry to hear about the burning of the VTS chapel. It is always painful to watch any consecrated space be destroyed by whatever means. The VTS Chapel had a special meaning for me as we used to worship in it during my graduate and post-graduate studies. With our increasing diocesan connection with the presence of Canon Hosam Naoum at VTS, we feel a bond with VTS that makes this loss greater. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the VTS Community at this time.”
What Happened? Where Will We Worship? Who Will Decide?
n October 22, 2010, at 3:49 p.m., the Virginia Theological Seminary community became aware that the historic 129 year old Immanuel Chapel was on fire. 9-1-1 was immediately called, buildings were evacuated, and the emergency services responded quickly and efficiently, ensuring that the fire did not spread to the Meade Building or the Federal House. Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries. By 4:30 p.m., major broadcast companies had arrived on campus and began to interview the Dean, some faculty members, and students. The Seminary’s Emergency Response Team jumped into action and, by 5:30 p.m. sent out a press release to the media. The Communications Office continued to update the VTS Facebook and Twitter pages as information became available. The fire continued to burn through the night; flames were still visible around midnight.
Because the fire occurred in a house of worship, the National Response Team (NRT) of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), along with ATF special agents from Falls Church Virginia and Washington D.C., worked with the Alexandria Fire Department to investigate the cause. The investigative team spent the next six days methodically removing debris from the chapel, conducting over 40 interviews, taking photographs, and recovering fire debris from the scene for laboratory analysis. The VTS Administration worked closely with ATF personnel to assist in any way they could. “It was a team approach from the beginning,” stated Bob Rodriguez, investigative lead for the Alexandria Fire Department. “Because of this [teamwork], we were able to get a significant amount of work done in a short amount of time.” The final report from the Alexandria fire deparment determined that the fire, which began in the Sacristy, was caused not by malicious intent or negligence, but by “human error.” On the day of the fire, incense briquettes which were used during the noonday Eucharist, were placed in a garbage can. While reasonable precaution was taken with the briquettes, it was not enough to stop the fire.
Salaam, The Rt. Rev’d Suheil S. Dawani Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem “... I was pained to hear of the loss of the wonderful chapel there to a fire. I know this was a beating heart at the seminary. I would like to extend my sympathies to the faculty and staff at your institution as I am sure they are experiencing grief as a result of this loss. I pray god continues to bless you and your ministries.” Sincerely, R.R. J. Zaché Duracin Bishop of Haiti
Right: Several photographers were on hand the day of the Chapel fire. We are grateful to B. Cayce Ramey, Curtis Prather, David Lynch, and David Gortner, for their photographic skills. Bottom Photos: B. Cayce Ramey
News from the Hill · December 2010
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Photo: Curtis Prather
Chapel Fire: Worship
The voice of prayer is never silent, Nor dies the strain of praise away.
LET US Seminary after the Fire WORSHIP! Worship at Virginia Theological
-Hymn 24, The Hymnal 1982 in their worship. So it was not surprising that one of the first things that happened after the fire was the gathering of a group to answer the question, “How will we continue to worship and where?” Generous offers came from the community - Immanuel Church on-the-Hill; the Episcopal High School, historically a child of the Seminary; Alexandria’s First Baptist Church; and Temple Beth-El, long our neighbor – all offering space for us to gather for the daily round of services. On Sunday morning after the fire, Dean Markham attended services at Immanuel Church on-the-Hill, the congregation founded from the Seminary who also knew the Chapel as home. In many ways it was only right that the first worship home for us on the Monday morning after the fire was in Zabriskie Chapel across Seminary Road. And that is where we gathered in that first week for the Daily Eucharist and the Daily Office, and for the support and fellowship of friends as Sam Faeth, Immanuel’s Rector, and Peter Ackerman, the Assistant, both were with us that Monday, providing in the narthex what amounted to a morning coffee hour. Our second week was a week of transition. The decision was made that it was important for our worship to return to the Seminary campus. And so Scott Lounge became Prayer Hall on All Saints’ Day 2010. At the 12 noon service that day we gathered as a community in the Grove, gave thanks for the ministry the Chapel had provided, remembered the names of all of those commemorated on the plaques and in the windows of the old building, and then followed a borrowed cross into Scott Lounge, which had been
he call from my mother came to me as I was attending a Service of Leave-taking for one of our alumni. “Tony, your chapel has been destroyed,” was what I heard her say on my voice mail. Her message reminded me of a similar message I had received from her earlier in the year, telling me that my eldest aunt had died. The feelings generated by each message were similar. I had gotten used to the idea that beloved people and beloved places are forever, even though I knew better. Immanuel Chapel has been a part of my life since 1969 when I came to the Hill as a 21 year old college graduate, and I received my seminary degree in front of its altar. In the years that have followed I have worshipped in it daily, baptized my goddaughter’s brother in its font, celebrated the Eucharist and preached from its pulpit, and gathered with colleagues and generations of student to rejoice, to mourn, and to worship. It was a place to pray in what I believe was the only church in Northern Virginia whose doors were never locked. It was a place from which people over the years went forth: to go to classes, to witness, to protest, and to preach the Gospel. When I returned to the campus on Saturday, the smell of fire confirmed the images I had seen on the Seminary’s website. Little knots of people stood around the skeleton of the Chapel. The beloved place was no more. Theological schools like Virginia Seminary find the source of their life
turned into a place for prayer for the Eucharist and Rite of Healing, thanks to the creative talents of members of our community and the generous loan of books and other appurtenances from Saint Stephen’s and Saint Agnes School, the National Cathedral, and Old Saint Paul’s and Grace Church, Alexandria. That day we were surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses: the faces of those bishops from the Seminary’s past whose portraits grace those walls. The loss of the Chapel has moved us to consider how important worship is in our common life. As a community we think ahead to those occasions that mark out the school year for which the Chapel no longer can be the venue and for which new places will be found for the celebration of those events. Even our temporary lodging in Scott Lounge/Prayer Hall will very soon give way to exciting plans to create a “more permanent temporary space” in a renovated Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Auditorium, redesigned to house us for those years between now and when the new Chapel will arise. And so our life of prayer and worship goes on. Come, let us worship! X Lloyd Alexander Lewis, Jr. (VTS ’72) Downs Professor of New Testament O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness: The Seminary’s Worship Committee turned Scott Lounge into a beautiful Prayer Hall, just one of the places the VTS community has worshiped since the October fire. Top photo: the service for All Saints’ Day, led by the Rev. Roger Ferlo, Ph.D.; right, the procession for the Dean’s Cross service was held at Episcopal High School’s (EHS) beautiful Callaway Chapel; bottom left, senior, David Romanik, leads the Seminary’s Motet Choir at EHS’ Callaway Chapel; middle left, the first Eucharist after the fire was held at Immanuel Church-onthe-Hill and led by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D. Pictured with him are MTS student, the Rev. Wisnel Dejardin, and VTS faculty member, the Rev. Ruthanna Hooke. News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
News from the Hill · December 2010
Special Report: Chapel Fire
continued from page 7...
Mary Katherine Tate (MACE): “...giving thanks for all the sacred quiet moments in the chapel I was blessed with during my summers at VTS.” Scott Petersen (‘07): “Yes I will miss the creaky floors, the hard, wood pews, the reminder to go out into the world to spread the gospel... yet at the same time I am grateful for bread, wine, oil, and Gods great love. The Church and VTS can go anywhere with these few precious elements.” Valerie Hayes: (‘09) “... remembering singing in the chapel as part of the Contemporary Sacred Singers in remembrance of the Martyrdom of MLK, Jr. when Bishop Michael Curry preached, almost shaking the pulpit off its supports...” Craig Sweeney (‘01): “... without diminishing the pain of the loss, let us pray that it will be rebuilt in glory and wonder. I can’t wait to see it then! So many memories... and so many more to come.” Bob Prichard (faculty): “I am in mourning for the loss of a place that I dearly love. To say that the experience of worship can over time reach down to your very bones is an understatement; it can become as much a part of your life as eating or as the daily round of sleep and wakefulness.” Keith Johnson (‘01): “I remember having my daughter, Sarah, baptized there by Bishop Dyer. When the whole community stood up to welcome her, I started to cry. My little girl was welcomed into the Body of Christ, wheels and all.” Beth Strickland (‘99): “... singing in the choir for Marianne Micks’ funeral and walking to the cemetery in the rain... quiet day talks that angered me to the point of distraction, but made me think and grow... “ Margot Critchfield (‘01): “So many whispered prayers and shared sacraments... sitting in the balcony with Alison... weeping to “Here I am Lord”...amazing sermons by Ellen Davis and Kathy Grieb...” Ann Smith: “When I was growing up as a VTS faculty kid, we used to attend the Christmas Eve Service at the chapel. After the service, Dad (the Rt. Rev. Philip Smith) would lead the congregation in a Christmas carol sing outside the chapel around a little Christmas tree covered in lights...” News from the Hill · December 2010
Where Will We Worship?
A New Interim Worship Space for the Next 3-5 Years
Who Will Decide?
New Chapel for a New Century Building Committee
embers of the VTS Temporary Worship Space Committee, tasked with finding alternative interim worship space for the community after the chapel fire, announced their plans this month to create a temporary, flexible prayer hall. Led by the Rev. Roger A. Ferlo, Ph.D., the committee unanimously recommended to the Dean that the Seminary’s Lettie Pate Evans Auditorium (LPEA) be refitted to create the new space. The Temporary Worship Space Committee, that included student representatives, two faculty members, and the Director of Physical Plant, spelled out plans to remove the auditorium seating; lay a wooden floor from the back of the LPEA to the stage, creating a level floor in place of the current sloped floor; turn the existing stage into a sacristy and vesting room; and place flexible seating around the altar which would be placed in front of a wall of windows. Stated Markham, “I am grateful that the Board of Trustees gave the administration flexibility when it came to the challenge of alternative worship space. I am equally grateful to Roger Ferlo and his committee for exploring our options and for remembering that the worship of God transcends all settings.” The Seminary hopes to have the interim worship space in place in the first quarter of 2011.
What Do We Want?
ean Markham has set the agenda for several local and national listening sessions to discuss the construction of the Seminary’s new chapel. The listening sessions will provide opportunities for the Dean and others to honor and listen carefully to its alums, friends, and other constituents; to hear ideas about the location of the chapel; and to dream about the design of a future chapel complex. The Dean has already met with the Seminary’s board of trustees, staff, faculty, and students. Additional sessions will include Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill, whose congregation has worshipped in the Seminary chapel since its inception, VTS Alumni, the Alumni/Alumnae Executive Council, and the SPIRIT group (Significants Participating in Really Interesting Things). The 2011 National Listening Sessions will take place as follows: • Diocese of Texas - January 9 & 10, Houston with Alumni/ae & Roundtable - January 11, Dallas with Alumni/ae & Roundtable • Diocese of Virginia - January 21, Richmond, Diocese of Virginia Council • Diocese of Los Angeles - January 27, Los Angeles with Alumni/ae and friends • Diocese of Atlanta - February 10, Atlanta with Alumni/ae and Roundtable If you are interested in participating in one of these sessions, please contact the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV, Ph.D., at 703461-1754 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
he VTS Board of Trustees has authorized the creation of the New Chapel for a New Century Building Committee. The Committee will be responsible for interviewing and selecting an architect; deciding upon a location for the new chapel complex; consulting with the architects and our consultant, Terry Byrd Eason, as a design for the new chapel takes shape; making a recommendation about location and design to the Board of Trustees and its Building and Grounds Committee; and following the project until its conclusion. Committee members include a variety of Seminary board, faculty, and staff members as well as graduates, students and friends. The committee members are:
CHAIR: The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham VTS Dean and President TRUSTEES: Mrs. Martha W. High The Rt. Rev. James J. Shand (‘99) Chair of the Board of Trustees, Bishop, Diocese of Easton The Rev. Dr. William R. Shiflet, Jr. (‘72) FACULTY: The Rev. Dr. J. Barney Hawkins The Rev. Dr. Lloyd A. Lewis, Jr. (‘72) The Rev. William Roberts, D.M.A. Ms. Heather Zdancewicz STAFF: Ms. Katie Glover Mr. David Mutscheller Ms. Ray Sabalis STUDENTS: The Rev. Dorothella Littlepage MDiv Senior Mr. Grey Maggiano MDiv Junior Mr. Edgar (Gary) Taylor MDiv Senior
ALUMNI/AE: The Rev. C. Neal Goldsborough (‘81) Pensacola, Florida The Rev. Ruth L. Kirk (‘89) Greenville, Delaware Mr. Thomas M. Moore (‘71) Warrenton, Virginia The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walter Lund (‘91) Rancho Mirage, California The Rev. David A. Umphlett (‘04) High Point, North Carolina IMMANUEL CHURCH-ONTHE HILL The Rev. Dr. Margaret A. Faeth (‘96) Bryan R. Phillips, AIA Holland & Knight Senior Counsel FRIENDS: Mr. Robert L. Mays CONSULTANT: Terry Eason Terry Byrd Eason Designs
Above: Removal of the Mission Windows (Photo: Christopher Pote).
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Office of Alumni Affairs
Office of Alumni Affairs
The Rev. Charles L Fischer III
and ordained ministers on campuses, in hospitals, on the street, or from behind an altar because of the education they received at VTS. Their experience of studying and being formed on the Holy Hill is priceless. But all must leave this place in order to do what they have been prepared for. The verse from the Gospel of Mark was painted on the walls of our Chapel. But it was also etched on the hearts of all who entered that building. X Please share your news with us! Write: The Rev. Charles L Fischer III, 3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304 E-mail: email@example.com Call: 703-461-1711 Fax: 703-370-0138 Email Address Changes to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Rev. Gayle M. Marsh, priestin-charge, All Saints Episcopal Church, Northfield, MN.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Watson III, rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lynchburg, VA.
The Rev. David K. Krause, priestin-charge, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Bonham, TX.
The Rev. Jerald W. Hyche, rector, St. James the Apostle Episcopal Church, Conroe, TX.
The Rev. Howard B. Bowlin, priest-in-charge, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Knoxville, TN. The Rev. Gwynneth J. Mudd, rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Norfolk, VA. The Rev. Scott G. Slater, canon to the Ordinary, The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Baltimore, MD.
The Rev. James M. L. Grace, canon for Christian Formation, Christ Church Cathedral, Houston, TX. The Rev. Mary L. Staley, priest, St. Paul’s Episcopla Church, Putin-Bay, OH.
The Journal The Seminary’s magazine for alumni and friends. Once per year, in the fall. News from the Hill The Seminary’s newsletter for supporters of VTS. Three times per year, in March, June, and December. The eNews Email updates about happenings at VTS. The first day of each month. The Dean’s Commentary Daily Seminary updates from Dean Markham and/or other guest contributors. Daily, Monday-Friday. Alumni Convocation 2011 Annual conference for graduates of the Seminary. Next year: October 4 & 5. You can also find us on:
ince 1823, individuals have committed to build a seminary that would send individuals out into the world to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. On October 22, 2010, a fire engulfed our beloved chapel, destroying an edifice that many have come to love and cherish. Our chapel was no ordinary building: it was central to this community. Daily, the community gathered in there. It was the place where the moments of triumph and great sadness were shared. That building, that place, OUR Chapel has been filled with prayers of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends since its consecration in 1881. It is hard not to be emotional about the loss of this building as we knew it. The chapel has witnessed the evolution of American society and our Church; men and women from the late 19th century and into the dawn of the 21st century have made the Chapel a haven, a safe place. On a wall in my office hangs a black and white photograph taken in 1956. It is a photograph of an ordination service in the Seminary chapel.
A VTS graduate is kneeling before Bishop Robert Fisher Gibson, Jr. as presbyters surround the ordinand. The Ascension window and the words “Go Ye into All the World and Preach the Gospel” is above all of their heads. This snapshot captures a moment in time. What once was is no longer, and what is to become has yet to be revealed. The physical campus of Virginia Theological Seminary may have been altered on that Friday afternoon but the commitment towards educating future Christian leaders has not. Today is your opportunity to make an investment towards strengthening the future of the Seminary and the Church. Become a partner in creating more than an edifice to replace what has been lost. Help build a place of prayer and worship that will form the individuals who will serve our Church for future generations. We are spread across the globe but are joined together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Alumni serve communities as lay
The Rev. Dr. Canon Robert D. Askren, canon for Adult Education, St. John’s Cathedral, Jacksonville, FL.
The Rev. Sandra L. Etemad, rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Norristown, PA. The Rev. Robert Marshall, rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Barrington, RI. The Rev. Susan Richardson, rector, Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Trenton, NJ.
The Very Rev. Kathleen M. Bobbitt, interim rector, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Newport News, VA.
The Rev. Dr. Geoffrey M. Price, interim rector, Leeds Episcopal Church, Markham, VA.
The Rev. James P. Adams, rector, Christ Church, Raleigh, NC.
The Rev. Dr. Robert E. Reese, priest associate, Grace Episcopal Church, Asheville, NC.
The Rev. Michael M. Hadaway, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Morgantown, WV. The Rev. Frank S. Logue, canon for Congregational Ministries, Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Savannah, GA.
The Rev. Amanda B. Eiman, assistant, St. James Episcopal Church, Wichita, KS. The Rev. R. Allen Pruitt, rector, St. Marks Episcopal Church, LaGrange, GA. The Rev. Matthew R. Scott, priest-in-charge, Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church, Warren, PA.
The Rev. George Shaw Yandell, priest-in-charge, Church of the Holy Family, Jasper, GA.
The Rev. George D. Muir, interim rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Asheville, NC.
The Rev. Keith Johnson, rector, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, New Orleans, LA. The Rev. Melinda St. Clair, priest -in-charge, All Saints Episcopal Church, El Paso, TX.
The Rev. Judith F. Burgess, rector, The Episcopal Church in Lincoln County, Ruidoso, NM.
The Very Rev. Theodore H. McConnell, interim rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Allentown, PA.
The Rev. Katherine M. Bush, chaplain, St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Memphis, TN. The Rev. Jason T. Roberts, vicar, The Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, San Antonio, TX.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Baumgarten, Delta missioner, Church of the Advent, Sumner; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Leland; Church of the Redeemer, Greenville; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Lexington; andSt. paul’s Episcopal Church, Hollandale. The Rev. Mary E. Reese, priestin-charge, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, NC. The Rev. Adam P. Thomas, assistant to the rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Cohasset, MA.
Last Convocation in the Chapel: The Rev. Ron Abrams reads the lesson, top; the Rt. Rev. James J. Shand, preaching, middle; the Rev. Canon Angela Ifill, AAEC president, points to the altar window above which read “Go Ye Into All the World and Preach the Gospel,” bottom two photos.
The Rev. Robert M. Alves, rector, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville, NC.
News from the Hill · December 2010
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
The Rev. Gates Elliott, youth minister, Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, Madison, MS. The Rev. Elizabeth H. Reed, associate rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Allentown, PA. The Rev. Robert W. Wetherington, Delta missioner, Church of the Advent, Sumner; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Leland; Church of the Redeemer, Greenville; St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Lexington; andSt. paul’s Episcopal Church, Hollandale.
Mr. Richard D. Meadows, Jr., assistant rector, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Williamsburg, VA. The Rev. Dr. Susan Prinz, assistant to the rector, St. Michael and All Angel’s Episcopal Church, Columbia, SC. The Rev. Christopher M. Robinson, deaconin-charge, Mediator-Redeemer Episcopal Church, McComb, MS. The Rev. Janis H. T. Shook, mission developer, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Moorefield, WV. Mr. W. Reginald Simmons, intern, Trinity Episcopal Church, Washington, DC. Mrs. Sonya K. Sowards, business manager/ administrative assistant, Florida A&M Wesley Foundation, Tallahassee, FL. The Rev. Amy Porterfield Turner, CPE resident, Pastoral Care Department, Mary Washington Hospital, Fredericksburg, VA. The Rev. Cornelia M. Weierbach, priest associate, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA. The Rev. Janis E. R. Yskamp, rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Christ Episcopal Church, Coudersport, PA.
Addendums & Corrections
4Page 84: Addition to Gifts in Honor of - the Rt. Rev. Robert H. Cochrane by the Rev. Judith M. McDaniel, Ph.D. 4Page 89: Additional donors to the Lewis Portrait Fund since July 1, 2010: The Rt. Rev. Mark H. Andrus and Dr. Sheila Andrus The Rt. Rev. Larry R. Benfield The Rev. Bruce D. Griffith The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. Gulick, Jr. Dr. Barbara Hall The Rev. Dr. and Mrs. J. Carleton Hayden The Rev. and Mrs. George A. Hull The Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf The Rev. Michael G. Rokos The Rev. Lois J. Schembs The Rev. B. Clarisse Schroeder Ms. Patricia Sexton The Rev. Andrew J. Sherman The Rev. Melody W. Shobe and The Rev. Robert C. Shobe The Rev. William M. Sowards The Rev. Canon Rosemari G. Sullivan and Mr. Edmund J. Sullivan, Jr. The Rev. Dr. J. Douglas Wigner, Jr. and Ms. Nancy J. Hein
The Rev. Gillian Barr, deacon associate, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Diego, CA. Ms. Lynn M. Campbell, diocesan fellow, Christ Episcopal Church, Needham, MA. The Rev. Geoffrey D. Doolittle, clergy-incharge, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Owego, NY. The Rev. Kenneth N. Forti, associate rector for Young Adult & Campus Ministry, St. Paul’s Memorial Church at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. The Rev. Patrick J. Greene, assitant to the rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Wickford, North Kingstown, RI. The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian, interim communications director and liturgical deacon, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria, VA; chaplain, St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, Alexandria, VA. The Rev. Catherine D. Hicks, priest-in-charge, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Port Royal, VA. The Rev. Kimberly S. Jackson, Episcopal chaplain to Atlanta University Center, Absalom Jones Chapel and Center, Atlanta, GA. The Rev. Lauren M. Kilbourn, curate, The Episcopal Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion, South Orange, NJ. The Rev. Jessica T. Knowles, assistant rector for Formation, All Saint’s Episcopal Church, Frederick, MD. The Rev. Catherine C. L. Lemons (VTS ‘10) assistant rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Anoka, Minnesota The Rev. Julia W. Messer, assistant to the Rector, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, VA.
2010 Alumni Convocation & Zabriskie Lectures
with speaker, Phyllis Tickle
From left to right, clockwise: a full-house listened intently to the discussion about Emergent Church; Phyllis Tickle gave her talk on “Building a Strong Foundation for the Church”; the Revs. Vincent Harris (‘79) and Keith Johnson (‘01); the Revs. Bob Crewdson and Doug Carpenter (‘60); the Revs. Oliver Butler and Sarah Kinney Gaventa (both ‘05); the Rev. Canon Frank Logue (‘00) giving a talk on Church Growth; the Rev. Jenny Montgomery (‘98); the Rt. Rev. Melchor Saucedo-Mendoza (‘45), his wife Catherine, and Ann Roebuck; and the Rev. Betty Latham (‘95.)
News from the Hill · December 2010
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Student Body President
Photos: B. Cayce Ramey and S.L. Shillinglaw.
or students at VTS, our seminary experience was significantly changed and defined in half an hour on the afternoon of October 22, as we watched Immanuel Chapel burn. That morning, I attended a wonderful student-led “Fridays at the Seminary” presentation on the emergent church. By the end of the day, my fellow students and I began a tough crash course in what it means to be an emergent congregation. In countless ways, this tragedy has brought out the best in our seminarians, and it has taught us much. We have learned how to support one another in sadness and trauma. We have
learned ways to create non-traditional worship space and shape liturgy there. We have learned to be extremely flexible. Above all, we have learned how much the church transcends any walls we build for it. Our classic VTS routine of “classchapel-lunch” has not missed a beat, and many activities during this past month have inspired hope and joy in the midst of challenge: the fall variety show, great turnout for the Help the Homeless Walk on the National Mall, and new babies in our community. Your prayers for us during this time have been felt and very much appreciated – thank you. - Rebecca Edwards (VTS ‘11) Diocese of East Tennessee Above: Junior, Connor Newlun, and his wife, Sarah Lyn, watched in disbelief as the VTS Chapel burned; Second photo: Grant Ambrose (‘11), Melissa Adzima (‘11), and Audrey O’Brien (‘12), sing hymns in the new worship space on All Saint’s Day.
“Christ who was and is and is to come.”
n his sermon following the chapel fire, Dean Markham spoke movingly of trust in God: “It is an act of trust that, however strange things look at any particular moment, love will triumph. God will triumph. We will triumph.” It is in this light that the Class of 2011 has selected a class gift that speaks of our trust in the eternal triumph of Christ, even in times of calamity and sorrow. Our theme is “Christ who was and is and is to come.” The gift will consist of three crosses: a new processional cross and stand for use in the temporary worship space for the present; the money needed to refurbish and mount as a monument the stone cross that formerly stood at the apex of the west end of the old chapel roof to remember the past; and money toward the cross that will someday grace the new chapel in hope of what is to come. We cordially invite all Friends of the Class of 2011 and of the larger seminary to participate in our gift and thus contribute to the enduring worship tradition of VTS. As the Dean wrote in his commentary shortly after the tragedy, “We are hurting. Yet we are worshipping.” The life and worship of our community are larger than a building. Our life in Christ stretches beyond time and space. It is our hope that these three crosses will symbolize the continuity
of that tradition, of which all members of the seminary community – past, present, and yet to come – are an indispensable part. Please join us. Our hope is to have all the money for the gift pledged by the end of January 2011, with payment possible until December 2013. While the first 10% of the money we contribute will go to the VTS Annual Fund in recognition of our responsibility as new alums to support the ongoing mission of the seminary, gifts given by friends for this gift will be used entirely for the purchase of the crosses. Anne Dale and Gary Taylor Class Gift Co-Chairs
Above: The Class of 2011 at a retreat at the Claggett Center in Maryland.
Students, faculty, and staff joined hands in prayer as the chapel burned through the afternoon and evening. (Photo: Curtis Prather) News from the Hill · December 2010
Gifts for this purpose can be sent to Virginia Theological Seminary’s Office of Institutional Advancement. Checks should be made payable to VTS, specifying “2011 Class Gift” in the memo line.
“The Class of 2011 has selected a class gift that speaks of our trust in the eternal triumph of Christ even in times of calamity and sorrow.”
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
Office of Institutional Advancement
The Worst of Times, the Best of Times?
by the Rev. J. Barney Hawkins IV
his classic quote from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities introduces a long sentence which includes the phrase “it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” On Friday afternoon, October 22, 2010, it was the “worst of times” on the Holy Hill. It was the day the Seminary chapel was destroyed by fire in a twinkling of an eye. When the sun went down that fateful day, there was a “darkness” that you could feel on the campus. I think it is safe to say that there was “despair.” I hope I never again see a building burn. You feel helpless. Tears come up from nowhere and you are so sad. Why? Why? Why? The altar window with its “Go Ye Into All the World and Preach the Gospel” frame melted before our eyes. Brave firefighters and police came to our aid. What courage it takes to fight a fire! What courage it takes to watch a fire! People were holding hands and crying. Frantic phone calls were made. From the moment the fire was detected, the Dean was organizing our community’s response. A press release went out in short order. A worship service of silence, prayer and song (Great is Thy Faithfulness was Bill Roberts’
New Chapel for a New Century Fund
selection!) was led by Dean Markham in Scott Lounge, our makeshift Prayer Hall. People were interviewed and we stepped into the Disaster Plan that Dr. Amy Dyer had painstakingly formulated. You could say we were ready for this dreadful day. The days since the fire have not been business as usual on the Holy Hill. For about six days the ATF conducted their thorough investigation. There was a constant procession of people who wanted to see for themselves this awful thing. I have found it hard to walk past the shell of a building that hosted so many holy moments and created so many lasting memories. If you have ever had hospital bills and know the time it takes to file all the claims, multiply that by 100 or more— and you can get a glimpse into the world of Ian Markham and Heather Zdancewicz. There have been pastoral care concerns and we have poured ourselves into a steady stream of communication on our website, Facebook andTwitter pages. We have tried to answer email and we have taken the calls that come our way with the inevitable questions and the generous offers of kindness and support. Yes, in many ways this has been and is becoming the “best of times.” The kindness of family, friends, and strangers makes this a “season of Light.” As the Board of Trustees, alumni/ae, faculty, students and staff move from the fire to the future, there is a “spring of hope” on the seminary campus. Semipermanent housing for a worship space makes us the “emergent church” Seminary! Now that is cool for a venerable institution 187 years old. We are learning in new ways to be flexible, Left: Found in the rubble of the chapel was this page from the Hymnal, “Lord Have Mercy.”
We have class contacts going back to the Class of 2001. If classes prior to 2001 had a class cross and someone has information to share concerning these crosses, please contact Melissa Bruckart Adzima (mbruckart@vts. edu).
Please consider a gift in 2010 for the New Chapel for the New Century Fund established by the board of trustees at their November 2010 meeting. While we know we will receive an insurance settlement, we also know that it will not cover the complete cost of a new chapel with adequate support space. In 2011, all of us will have the opportunity to be part of the New Chapel for the New Century campaign. It will take all of us giving sacrifically to secure the funds necessary for a new chapel complex which we envision will include a gathering place with kitchen facilities, a nursery, choir and vesting rooms, a sacristy, offices and restrooms. The Chapel Task Force, meeting over the course of 2010, had already begun to imagine such a complex, utilizing and renovating the 1881 chapel. In 1823, a parish vestry gave Virginia Theological Seminary to the Episcopal Church. The chapel complex can be our gift in the 21st century. We cannot replicate the chapel. We want to build a chapel for our time that will endure the march of years and serve the worship needs of our community for the next 100 years. The project to build a chapel complex, if approved by the board of trustees, will require many gifts—a campaign to raise money and to build for the present and the future. In 2011 we will invite you to join the New Chapel for the New Century campaign. Like the 1881 chapel, the new chapel will be a landmark of formation in The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, and will be a sign of hope to the generations who will come after us.
The Office of Institutional Advancement has initiated a project to collect and display the different class crosses that graduating seniors of VTS have designed and received throughout the years. But we need your help.
trusting, adaptable, and innovative. Worship at VTS has been “broad” for years—notwithstanding the myths that we are “snake-belly low” in our worship practices. We will continue to experience a range of worship in the Lettie Pate Evans Auditorium. Roger Ferlo and others are shaping the space that we will use for worship for the next several years. I think this is the “best of times” for us who love Virginia Seminary.; I truly think it is the “best of times” for those who are considering a theological education. The new students of 2011 will step onto a campus that is changing before their eyes. They will learn exciting ways to have a dialogue with scripture and tradition. New students will learn at every turn about liturgy, church architecture, fund-raising, and what it means to live by faith. That sounds like a theological education to me! When the Board of Trustees met in early November, about two or so weeks after the chapel fire, the chaplain remind them that the Church is an “experiential colony.” So it is at Virginia Theological Seminary—a “colony” following Jesus and experiencing a new present and a future where God already is. What a great season for the Holy Hill! X
The class cross is a significant reminder of our time here at VTS. We hope this project will be another visible sign of those who have called this Holy Hill a place of formation and learning. In this spirit, we are looking for those who would be interested in donating their class crosses for the project. We look forward to hearing from you!
Top photo, clockwise from left: crosses from the Classes of 2008, 2009, 2006, 2003, 2004, and 2005; middle photo, Class of 2002 cross; bottom cross, Class of 2001. 18
News from the Hill · December 2010
News from the Hill · www.vts.edu
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