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GTS and Brodsky Organization Agreement

General Seminary Enters Agreement with Brodsky Organization
Contract Signed Enabling Seminary to Continue Its Historic Mission in Chelsea


New York City -- The Rev. Lang Lowrey, President of The General Theological Seminary (GTS), the oldest seminary of The Episcopal Church, announced today that a preliminary agreement had been reached between the Seminary and the Brodsky Organization, a Manhattan real estate developer, which would result in the sale of several residential and mixed use properties owned by the Seminary. The contract is subject to additional approvals but is expected to become final in the next 30-60 days.

GTS trustees in October 2010 unanimously approved a comprehensive financial initiative, the Plan to Choose Life, aimed at eliminating the Seminary’s $41 million of debt, restoring the school’s endowment, and allowing the Seminary to continue its mission with a balanced budget—all within a period of eighteen to twenty-four months. The first phase of the plan involves the sale of property to eliminate debt. The second phase is leveraging the Seminary’s $30 million investment in the Desmond Tutu Center by bringing in partners and increasing General’s endowment.

The Seminary properties targeted for sale include the building known as Chelsea 2,3,4, a residential structure on West 20th Street near the corner of Ninth Ave; the West Building, also on 20th Street near the center of the block, currently being used for Seminary offices, and an apartment building at 422 West 20th Street. Additionally, the Seminary will transfer ownership to Brodsky of the land along Ninth Avenue currently being leased, as well as a portion of property the school currently uses for a tennis court.

“The adoption of this plan represents a comprehensive solution to financial challenges that have been a drain on morale and a serious impediment to the Seminary’s mission for many years,” said Bishop Mark S. Sisk, chair of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, adding, at the October meeting, that the Seminary had taken “a bold but very carefully considered step to leverage assets through the sale of residential properties. The payoff is the substantial if not the complete elimination of all General’s debt.”

In the months since the October Board meeting, Seminary leadership has been meeting with students, faculty, donors, and others to explain all the details of the complex financial plan as well as adding press releases and other public documents to a section of the Seminary’s website entitled “GTS Next.” President Lowrey has also been hosting a series of Friday afternoon webinars (on-line conference calls) to explain the plan. With a contract signed, the Seminary will begin a program aimed at increasing public awareness.  The webinars will continue and on Tuesday, December 7 at 7:30 pm in Seabury Auditorium, the Seminary will invite the Chelsea community to join with President Lowery in discussing all aspects of the financial plan.

The General Theological Seminary, located in the heart of New York City, educates and forms leaders for the church in a changing world. Founded in 1817 as the first theological seminary of the Episcopal Church, General offers certificate and degree programs including the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Theology. The Seminary is also home to the Desmond Tutu Center, a full-service conference center with sixty modern guest rooms.

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Media Contact:
Bruce Parker
Associate Vice President for External Relations
The General Theological Seminary
175 Ninth Ave.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-5150 x285
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

January 2011 Course Offerings

January Courses Offer Unique Learning Opportunities at General Seminary

New York City --  Beginning January 10 the General Theological Seminary will offer four short term courses in which participants can explore their faith and expand their theological understanding while enjoying the beauty of the Seminary’s landmarked campus in the heart of the Big Apple. All courses may be taken for graduate-level credit, and accommodations are available on campus in the Desmond Tutu Center. To register and for further information visit www.gts.edu or contact Director of Admissions, William Webster at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 212-243-5150 ext. 280.

Jesus Wept: When Faith and Depression Meet
No leader of a faith community and no spiritual director can afford not to know about the quiet devastation of clinical depression, which affects twenty million Americans. People of faith may have a unique relationship to this condition, including a profound shame that makes them reluctant to seek treatment and the popular insistence on perpetual cheeriness as a necessary condition of faith.  This class will examine depression as it is currently understood, as well as the ways in which its despair has been treated in Christian tradition. Adjunct Prof. Barbara Crafton, January 10-14, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Greenfaith: Earth Spirituality, Stewardship, and Justice Practicum
Imagine a world where in every community religious leaders speak influentially on the environment; where houses of worship use renewable energy, produce no solid waste, press for clean-ups of local toxic sites, and lead community efforts for environmental sustainability; and where religious educators teach children that caring for the earth is an ethical obligation. This course will offer participants theological and practical training to make this world a reality. Adjunct Prof. Fletcher Harper, January 24-28, from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.  

Biblical Theology for the Spiritual Guidance of Children

Biblical Theology is a discipline that studies the narratives, poetry and other literature of the Bible to discover how the writers of biblical texts understood interrelationships among God, humans, and the world. Such critical study will enable participants to reflect on how the biblical theologies influence our own theologies today. Students explore several foundational stories in the scriptures, focusing on how these give rise to our thought and talk about God and creation. Through lectures, discussions and small group exercises the class will consider the ways children hear, wonder about and interpret biblical stories.  Prof. John Koenig, January 15-16,  from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Practicum in the Spiritual Guidance of Children

This practicum teaches the art of inviting children into the Christian language system in a way that honors their wonder and undifferentiated awareness of God’s presence. It is in this context that the skills of observation, the relationship of child development to the spiral curriculum, and the awareness of method, fluency in the curriculum, and foundational theory are experienced and critically reflected on.  Godly Play is the centerpiece of this supervised experience with special attention to key core presentations found in Volumes 2, 3, and 4 of The Complete Guide To Godly Play. Distinguished Visiting Prof.  Jerome Berryman, January 10-14, from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.

The General Theological Seminary, located in the heart of New York City, educates and forms leaders for the church in a changing world. Founded in 1817 as the first theological seminary of the Episcopal Church, General offers certificate and degree programs including the Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Theology. The Seminary is also home to the Desmond Tutu Center, a full-service conference center with sixty modern guest rooms.

###

Media Contact:
Bruce Parker
Associate Vice President for External Relations
The General Theological Seminary
175 Ninth Ave.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-5150 x285
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


President Lowrey's Report to the Board of Trustees, October 15, 2010

President Lang Lowrey's Report to the Board of Trustees 10/15/2010

Good morning!

I have been asked to take a few minutes to give a state of the union report to all of you after my first 100 days on the job as your Interim President.  Someone said yesterday that they wanted to thank me for the work I have been doing in the past 12 months.  Well, it’s only been a bit over 100 days but if feels like a year!

I regret that my observations of General in this short period of time have been primarily limited to the financial crisis which we are facing.  Yet before I address those challenges, I want to say that I have found General every bit what I imagined it to be.  Many of my friends and associates call me to ask what it is like here.  I tell them that the Close is a bit of a cross between Harry Potter and Jane Eyre with a radical hospitality, most wonderful people with a deep sacred nature…all grounded in the heart of the best of our Episcopal tradition.  It is truly a place that is a privilege to serve and a place of great curiosity.  Thank you for having me here!

It’s my observation that our Mission has been well thought through, thoroughly understood and the “pride” of a church that prizes General as its flagship among its other 10 seminaries.

What I have been struck with more than anything else in the first 100 days is a few facts that I have learned about theological education in The Episcopal Church.  First, I have learned that historically we have sent more than 80% of our priests to seminary.  Our church has been blessed by creative, talented and educated priests whom at a minimum have a master’s degree and often doctoral degrees.  Highly educated priests have resulted in a church built in the Anglican tradition that offers a wide berth of theological opinion under a deep and rich liturgical tradition.  Theological education has been our hallmark and our church has attracted million of so called “Thinking Christians” who don’t go around claiming “we are saved” but say rather…”We are saved now what?”

What is concerning, given that our church was built on theological education in seminaries is that last year only 50% of our priests that were ordained went to seminary.  What’s worse, I am told that we have as few as 250 in the MDiv program in all our 10 seminaries.  Now I am sure those ordained without seminary are very fine priests but this change in theological education will have a profound effect in our church over the next 10 years.  It will invite into our churches a new world view.  It will also threaten to change the very fabric of who we are as a church because seminary education is what has built our tradition.

Now, one might say…it’s no matter!  We don’t need 10 seminaries, perhaps we only need 3 or 4 of them (well distributed throughout the US).  In effect the seminaries will just consolidate to meet the needs of those who will attend.

It will also be said that students can’t afford a seminary education in these times.  Times are changing, we need to adapt to online or near-line education.  Students can go to local universities and continue working and be educated locally without Episcopal formation.  “Right sizing” is certainly the buzz word of the past few years…perhaps we too as a church should do the same.

This most certainly makes business sense.  Most corporations would agree…you must “right size” to meet demand.  The problem with this equation is that I have come into two Fortune 500 companies that thought that right sizing would solve the problem.  The one thing I have learned in both experiences is that you can’t “downsize your way to success!”

No, the only way to address the problem of declining demand is not to treat the “symptoms” but treat the “disease”.  Simply, even though we will likely have excellent priests whom go to local universities or are trained in online or near-line environments we will still need “theological marines” (if you will) whom although a smaller group can make more than a significant contribution to the church.   These are the same ones who will be receiving honorary doctorates with accomplishments a mile long like the ones we conferred last night.  These “marines” will be our bishops, our canons and our cardinal rectors.  We need seminaries if we are to survive as a church because I have seen first hand what right sizing does…it accelerates the decline rate because without well trained leaders (especially in a changing world) we will not have the leadership to change the trend of what is causing the decline in the first place.  

This will mean, of course, that we as seminaries (even if we consolidate to 3 or 4) will have to change.  Not only in our approach on how we teach a new generation but what we teach them.  For instance evangelism, pastoral care, practical theology and how to manage and grow a church will all be important additions to arm our “theological marines” to be ready to change the tide of our decline.  

Unfortunately, General does not have faculty in any of these areas.  We do not have any online capability and we are not serious about our “near line” commuter students.  (For instance, we do not have a class that starts at 8 am nor many after 6 pm and virtually none on Saturday.)  We don’t even have a handle on our commuter or part-time students in terms of enrollment.  We have much work to do if we are not going to be one of those consolidated or right sized seminaries.  Theological education times are a changing and we need to accelerate adapting our clear but “tired” mission rapidly if we want to be the “flagship” instead of the “sinking ship.”

Underpinning our need to make quick theological education changes, of course, is our longstanding financial woes.  It is hard to address “mission” when all you do is bale water every day with a $60 – 70 million hole in your boat!  Yet thanks to the valiant efforts of our previous dean and our chair (not to mention a very dedicated staff and faculty), they have found creative ways to keep the boat afloat.  

The problem is that despite their heroic efforts they were only able to treat the symptom and not the disease.  In doing so they could not “save General” per se but thanks to their hard work and good efforts they did make General worth saving.  The Chelsea Enclave project was genius and financially sound.  Tutu was genius, as well! Yet unfortunately it was based on a business model that changed in the middle of the project as a result of the economy, cost overruns and regulatory problems.  Deferred maintenance decreased, we had a generous donation of the library and geothermal (albeit very expensive with a long payback) was brought to the seminary.  All these initiatives resulted in improving our asset base over the past 5 – 10 years.  We can be thankful that the past 10 years under Dean Ewing resulted in so much progress for General in terms of our assets.

Unfortunately building up assets usually increases debt.  We are no exception.  Now we have $41 million of debt which is technically in default (yet which is temporarily cured).  Ordinarily this would not be problematic because we would have a means to service the debt.  Unfortunately in our case we do not.  We are losing $5 million per year and have no means to service either the $2.5 million which is debt service or the $2.5 million of operating loss which our students do not pay and which most higher learning institutions offset using earnings from their endowment.

The “dis-ease” in a financial sense is similar to our “dis-ease” in Mission.  We treat the symptoms and not the problem.  Heroically band-aiding it by reducing or borrowing from our endowment; increasing debt or convincing benefactors to fund operating losses and deferred maintenance.

Once again let me say that it is not only heroic how Dean Ewing held the ship together but amazing.  I am sure that he would have found yet another way to fund General for yet another year if the economy had not failed him.

Later today, you all will be discussing a new plan for General.  This is not a plan that treats the “symptoms” or denies the “dis-ease”.  It is a comprehensive plan which embraces the reality of our situation and treats the disease both in terms of our mission and in terms of our financial condition.  I pray that the reality of our situation will be embraced without looking back to find blame because in just a few years those whom have brought us this far might see their efforts turn fruitful as we attempt to eliminate debt, increase endowment so that we can have a balanced budget and re-envision our mission in changing theological times.

Finally, let me say that I believe just a few important changes can make a big difference in our future.  First, thanks to the hard work of our Director of Admissions we have brought in a large, new, energetic junior class this year.  They came here knowing the reality of the situation.  They have brought a new energy to fuel our mission.  Second, we have brought in two of our church’s finest statesmen, Archbishop Carnley and Bishop Lee.  Both bring a sense of stability and the promise of good things to come.  If we embrace the reality of our situation and continue to make important changes, perhaps this time next year we could be pleased.

 

# # #

Student/Facutly/Staff Perspectives on Plan to Choose Life

Student, Faculty, and Staff Remarks to the Board of Trustees, October 15, 2010


Student Perspective by Mr. Ian Kinman

Student Representative to the Board of Trustees
M.A. Student

Good Morning. My name is Ian Kinman, and I am here in my role as President of the Community Council to speak briefly to you. The council represents everyone at the seminary, including faculty and staff; however I will let Professor Owens and Billy Webster address the concerns of the faculty and staff directly themselves. Instead I will focus my remarks on behalf of the students and their partners, spouses and families.


Let me first say that regarding the proposal by President Lowrey, Bishop Lee and the administration, the community has strong and broad support for this plan. No one is pleased that the plan is necessary for the seminary’s survival; it is a terrible situation that we are in, and I have to be honest, there is anger in the community about how those entrusted with the stewardship and oversight of this seminary have clearly failed at their responsibility.

But the community is behind this plan; they are behind it out of a spirit of hope, a belief in the promise of renewal, and a trust. A trust in the future of this seminary, and its necessary role in education and its necessary role in formation.

Now there are many concerns that this community has about this plan. People are concerned about their homes, the homes of their families, and their children. We want to make certain that the plan continues the seminary's commitment to a residential program that is a unique and valuable part of our formation. We have concerns about timing and logistics, space for classes and space for our ministries. All of these concerns are valid, they need to be addressed, and they reflect the daunting nature of the challenges that we face. But this community has confidence in the abilities of the Dean, the President and the administration and staff to manage these changes in an orderly and open way. And we have confidence in these people’s ability to involve the community in the ongoing decision-making and design.

Why do we have this confidence? Our confidence is based on the openness, transparency and honesty that these people have shown the students and their families during this difficult time. And for that we thank them.

As someone who is an architect, it pains me a little to say this, but this community is not the buildings, it is not the real estate, it’s not the chapel. The most moving Eucharist I’ve been part of since coming to this seminary was in the Hobart Room. These buildings are necessary tools for our formation, as much as books and computers. But the substance of this seminary does not lie in those things. We are committed to our mission, and not to buildings. We are not worried about buildings themselves; we are worried about how buildings affect this community.

You need to Make This Happen. We’ve got one shot at this, so you need to Make It Count.

There are those who despair that this is the darkest hour in this seminary’s history, that there is no hope, and that we’re better off closing. We disagree. We think you have a chance to make this the seminary’s finest hour.

Thank you for your time.

 



Faculty Perspective by Dr. Robert Owens
Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees
Professor of Old Testament


Ladies and Gentlemen,


President Lowrey asked me briefly to share a faculty member’s perspective on the proposed new master plan.  I have not been able to meet with my colleagues since they were presented with the plan last Wednesday, but several responded to my request for comments.  What follows are my own words, shaped so as to convey also what I think I have heard from my colleagues.

Probably like all of you, the teaching faculty experiences three different bundles of thoughts and feelings at the same time.  First, we realize that this is a time of urgent crisis.  The institution at key moments in recent years has left undone what it ought to have done and has done what it should not have done, and we have had some bad luck.  Because of that, most of the freedom now to choose our own course has been lost.  In the face of imminent financial disaster, we have only two choices to consider:  survival or non-survival.  And there is very little time left to make even that simple choice.   Second, we feel immense gratitude, and no little amazement, that Lang Lowrey has been willing to give himself to the task of defining a path to survival.  Five months ago few of us thought that there was hope for anything but a more or less messy final collapse this fall.  The thanks we feel to him (and to those of you who stepped forward within the board to make the bold decision to invite him here)—the thanks we feel is one of the brightest parts of life at GTS just now.  He has literally thrown himself into this mission,   rigorously and also respectfully of us all.  Now we have a plan that offers a realistic possibility of new life for the seminary we all love, to be executed by someone with genuine financial expertise.  Third, while our pain is great at having yet again to cut back the space and buildings that we need for our programs, the prospect of truly reclaiming a solid financial foundation will make it worthwhile.

Most of us think that these changes, as immediately traumatic as they feel, will actually form the basis for new growth.  If this goes as envisioned, we can stop the steady stream of departing discouraged faculty, and begin again to attract and retain talented young teachers.  We can think of having the resources to innovate and adapt, without having to spend every penny and every ounce of energy just coping with yet another crisis.  More than one faculty member has expressed hope that the changed physical plant may even make it easier to think outside the box, to probe afresh how we can best do what the church needs us to do, without having every decision textured by that huge task of the care and feeding of historic Chelsea Square.  We love it; it is beautiful; but historic preservation is not our mission.  We are called to preach and teach Christ, to be fishers of people, not keepers of the aquarium.  Maybe, just maybe, the changed but renovated campus will make it easier for all of us to move forward with freshness.   We wish these changes would not have to be so drastic, and frankly, the loss of space is frightening.  But we know these changes are necessary, and we think that they may catalyze genuine progress in other ways.

As we support this plan, and give it our backing, there are two or three issues that we  teachers probably see as clearly as anyone, although Ian has already alluded to some of them on behalf of the students.

First, the heart of our mission is teaching, and, along with the wonderful new Keller library, the most crucial spaces for us are the classroom spaces.  We now do not have enough classroom spaces of the right kind.  We do not have a single classroom that will seat over about 35 students.  Many of our classes are that small or smaller, but some are not.  For larger classes, we are forced to use the Auditorium, which is a catastrophe as a teaching and learning space.  (These two Tutu rooms are out of bounds for our academic program.)  The first request we feel the need to register as you put this master plan into its final form is, Please, please do not forget how essential is the matter of adequate classrooms.

Second, renovation of student residences predominates in the improvements involved in the plan.  Who can be anything but thrilled at the prospect of all our students being able to live in modern, efficient accommodations?  Residential formation will continue to be a key ideal feature of theological education for the ordained ministry for most Episcopal students, and we are grateful that the plan provides for that.  At the same time, theological education will surely be rapidly changing in form in coming years.  We need to be honest about the fact that this plan is essentially building to the patterns of current seminary life.  No one can predict the future, but as we move forward with this plan, let us constantly ask:  Are we building and renovating in a way that will give our facilities maximum flexibility for the future?  For example, will the changed campus be able to serve students who may come to campus for 2-6 weeks several times a year for shorter, intensive study periods?  Are we including the infrastructure and support space for the electronically-delivered learning formats that surely must be a growing aspect of how we teach?

Last, we faculty are contractually required to live on the seminary premises.  This means that our seminary apartments are our homes.  If we are to renew and strengthen our institution, our faculty once again should include always some younger teachers who are in the child-rearing years.  With the reduction in faculty residences that this plan entails, will there still be apartments that will seem adequate to the prospective young faculty member who will be raising two or three children here?

A related pastoral footnote:  As the seminary apartments are our homes, they are as important to our physical and mental well-being as your homes are to you, wherever you live.  Moving is very, very difficult, even when you choose to do it.  When outside circumstances make you move, it can be even more unsettling.  I say this only by of reminder—perhaps an unneeded reminder—that those who will lose their homes as this plan is enacted deserve all the consideration we can give them.  It seems important for me to add that a faculty member who is now being asked to move for the second time in six years recently said that they feel more respected in their discussions with President Lowrey than ever before at GTS.

The seminary faculty celebrates the many hopeful prospects that this new plan opens.  Far beyond mere survival, which is the first priority, it really does seem to most of us that at last we have a real path toward a future for this educational ministry.   It is always uplifting for those who work here every day to have the trustees gather and to see your commitment to what we are trying to do, to see how much you too give to this ministry, to feel how much you care for our students.  We are in harness together.  This new plan will not be easy, but the faculty is ready to pull with you to make it work.   

Robert J. Owens, Ph.D.
Professor of Old Testament
10/15/2010

 

 


 

Staff Perspective by Mr. William Webster
Staff Representative to the Board of Trustees
Director of Admissions


Statement of Feeling – 10.15.10

Saturday would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. And while most people were understandably singing the song “Imagine” in tribute to his memory, I kept thinking of a song from the same 1971 album, “Gimme Some Truth.” If you are familiar with “Gimme Some Truth”, I highly recommend it to you.

Speaking on behalf of the administration, I can honestly tell you that we’ve been waiting to hear the truth about General Theological Seminary for a long time. And this week President Lang Lowery spoke the truth to us, about us, and for us….and we were relieved.

When it came time for the question and answer portion of yesterday’s presentation to the staff, what struck me most in terms of the reaction of my colleagues was the deep concern expressed for the well-being of the faculty, and especially the students, during this upcoming period of great transition and growth. They didn’t ask about reduced office space, having to share their work areas with two or more people, or about any inconvenience they themselves might face, but rather wanted to know what we would be doing to make the next few years easier for our students. To me, this illustrates the administration’s dedication to and understanding of this institution’s core mission – to educate and form leaders for the church in a changing world. The overall sentiment seemed to be – what can we do to help?

After the meeting I asked one of the staff members…how do you feel? She responded, “full of hope.” I myself sat in the meeting feeling like I was on the verge of tears. And I had to ask myself if they would be tears of sadness or tears of joy. Probably a little bit of both. But what I and the rest of us felt mostly was relief!

The weight of the past few years has taken its toll on all of us, staff included. We were never fully aware of what was going on behind the scenes, what was really at stake, or even what the whole story of our financial situation actually was. There is tremendously relief for many reasons, not the least of which is that this plan finally puts to rest the debate about our identity as a residential community. In fact, this plan to choose life reinvigorates the concept. I can tell you that your admissions director went on record in the press a couple months ago, knowing nothing about any of this, affirming General’s commitment to residential theological education, and he has no regrets about doing so.

The staff does have some practical concerns. We wanted to know what would happen to the preschool (as those children are part of the fabric of this place), what would happen to the commuter lounge, the student lounge, the Deanery, the lockers, the mannequin in Billy’s office.  Some of us with experience in establishing LLC’s wanted to know more about how the Tutu Center would be structured, out of a concern that GTS remain the driving force behind the Desmond Tutu Center. At the same time, we affirm that Melinda Choi and her staff be given more freedom to run the Tutu Center like a business, a very, very successful business. And we believe this can be done with consistency and commitment to Bishop Tutu’s ideals related to Peace and Reconciliation.

In closing, President Lowrey described the next few years as General’s desert experience. For the staff’s part, we go into this willingly and with great optimism, knowing that it will not be easy. One of us asked Lang what he’d recommend we bring to the desert if we could bring only one thing. His answer was “faith.” I can tell you that the staff of General Seminary is faithful, to this institution, to its mission, and to the people of this community. And we stand united in favor of this Plan to Choose Life.
Thank you.

 

# # #

The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray Closing Prayer

Prayer for the closing session of the Board of Trustees meeting

The General Theological Seminary
October 16, 2010
The Rev. Canon Denis O'Pray

On the occasion of the first plenary session to be convened following the Board’s heroic approval of the Plan to Choose Life.

Whew…what a hard climb, Lord Jesus!  Reminds me of ascending Mount Arbel in the Galilee:  exhausting, but the view is incomparable.  Below, the wadi though which you so often made your way from Nazareth to Jerusalem.  Out there, the Sea of Galilee, across, the Golan heights, below, Tiberius, and low on the horizon, Capernaum.  To see in one glance Lord so much of your life’s journey.  Thrilling.  Worth the climb.

So was this ascent of ours.  And now, with our future claimed, from this high place that we have reached, thanks to our skilled guide, we can see and appreciate so deeply where our old school has been, and, more exciting, where the new one will rise.

I see students, another century’s worth, coming toward the close, there to be formed and educated to be leaders for the church in a changing world.  I can see generations of children sweetly touched by Godly Play trainers who have certificated here.  I see our struggling church being renewed, almost against its will, it would seem, by those who have grasped here a theology and liturgy fit for a new age, taught by a great faculty.  I see field placement students trudging from 23rd and 8th [the subway stop] on their way back to school from their assigned parishes.  I think they are shaking their heads in disbelief at what they have found out there. I can see in the distance the dean and president who will one day stand on the strong shoulders of Lang and Peter, ready to work, but unaware of all that had to be done to prepare General for their season of leadership.

What a climb!  What a view!  What a future you show us , Lord.

Oh, look down there where Fulton’s Fish Market used to be:  I see Trustees whose names will never be known by future generations, whose contribution to this vision will go unnamed.  Their work done, they slip off the scene, tired but happy.

Lord Jesus!  Look! Do you see me among them?  I’m smiling, satisfied, fulfilled. My work is done.

Thank you.  Thank you, Jesus.  Thank you, and Amen.

 

 

THE GENERAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
440 West 21st Street, New York City, NY 10011   |   tel (212) 243-5150  fax (212) 727-3907

The General Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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