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Community Update

GTS Community Update -- November 30, 2010

Friends,

As you know, this month has been a very busy time on the Close with the 2010 Alumni/ae Gathering, the Paddock Lectures, the Annual Lecture of the Anglican Society, and meetings of the Friends of the Library and the Associate Alumni/ae Executive Committee all having taken place recently. We both want to thank the entire GTS community for the wonderful hospitality that was shown to all our visitors. In this Update you will also find news about the implementation of the Plan to Choose Life and some important developments concerning our staff and faculty.

Alumni/ae Gathering and Paddock Lectures

The Matthews Room of the Tutu Center was filled to its capacity for the three Paddock Lectures, each of which featured the fine scholarship of the Rev. Dr. Bruce Chilton ‘74. If you were unable to attend, please check upcoming issues of TWAG concerning the availability of recordings. Another noted scholar and GTS graduate, the Rev. Dr. John Kater ’66 was this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumni/ae Award which was presented at a wonderful banquet in the refectory on November 11.

Contract Signed with Brodsky Organization
As you receive this Update a press release is also being finalized to announce that GTS and the Brodsky Organization have signed a contract leading to the sale of the GTS properties specified in the Plan to Choose Life. Although additional third party approvals are needed before the agreement is finalized, the signing of the contract clears the way for us to start implementing a number of components of the plan. Residents of Pintard Hall and of Dehon Hall will begin to be relocated and the Seminary will begin to end the practice of renting housing units to outside tenants living in 422. Please visit the Blogs section of the Rookery for the most up-to-date information about implementation. On the evening of December 7 the Seminary will be inviting residents from the surrounding neighborhood, as well as local media representatives, to learn about the Plan to Choose Life by joining us in Seabury Auditorium for a meeting with President Lowrey.

Relocation of Faculty Residences on the Close
As part of the further implementation of the Plan to Choose Life, the relocation of faculty residents of Chelsea 2,3,4 will also soon begin. Prof. David Hurd’s household will be moving into the Moore Building apartment previously occupied by the household of Prof. Drew Kadel. The soon-to-be vacated apartment of our retiring Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke, also in Moore, will become the new residence of the Kadel household. The Seminary is deeply appreciative of the patience and generosity shown by all students and faculty members who are being relocated as part of the implementation plan.

News from Prof. John Koenig and Prof. Elisabeth Koenig

Long time professors at GTS John and Elisabeth Koenig have informed us that they are investigating early retirement. Serving as Glorvina Rossell Hoffman Professor of the Literature and Interpretation of the New Testament, Prof. John Koenig joined the GTS faculty in 1978. As an effective and engaging teacher, he has enkindled a love of the New Testament in hundreds of GTS graduates. He is also a noted scholar and author having written many articles and several books relating biblical studies to the ministry of the church. Joining the faculty in 1986, Dr. Elisabeth K.J. Koenig, Professor of Ascetical Theology, is currently at work on a book about discernment and she teaches an extremely popular GTS course on the same subject. A sensitive and accomplished teacher, her foundations course in spirituality has served to introduce generations of GTS students to the inseparable connection between spiritual practice and social commitment. With special expertise in areas of patristic spirituality, fourteenth century English mystics, and the relationship between ascetical theology and psychology and art, she is frequently published in journals such as Theology Today. Our Easter term will feature a wonderful event at which we can all celebrate the impressive contributions John and Elisabeth have made to the life of General Seminary and express our thanks.

Chaplain’s Position

We were pleased so many were able to join the community on the afternoon of November 19 at a lovely reception to celebrate the ministry of our departing Chaplain, the Rev. Dr. Stuart Hoke. Stuart’s last day with us was November 22. His time here at GTS has been a blessing to all of us. The search committee under Bishop Lee’s direction has narrowed the field to several candidates who have been invited to the campus for interviews and a tour. A new Chaplain is expected to join the community in January.

Administration News

We both want to express our appreciation to Maureen Burnley for the energy and effectiveness with which she has assumed responsibility for the logistical implementation of the Plan to Choose Life, particularly the relocation of residences and offices. We are also indebted to the staff of the Business Office and Sandra Johnson, our new Interim CFO, for undertaking all the extra duties that have had a critical role in assuring a successful outcome to the agreement with the Brodsky Organization. Lastly, a special word of thanks is also due to the staff of the External Relations Office who worked so hard to insure a successful Alumni/ae Gathering. A prior Update informed you of the merger of the former institutional advancement and communications offices to create the Office of External Relations. This announcement will soon be made public in a press release that will be sent later in the week of November 29.  Also, a complete organizational chart of the Seminary’s administration will soon be added to the Rookery for your reference.

After chapel each morning, it has been great seeing so many students, faculty, and staff starting their day with our new “continental breakfast” in the lobby of West Building. We encourage you to join the community as often as you can for a hot beverage, pastry, and good conversation. After all, as we all know, the coffee hour is an inseparable part of the Episcopal experience.

As we return from our Thanksgiving holiday and as we mark the beginning of Advent, let us all give thanks for the innumerable ways God has blessed us, for the people we love, for the love we receive from others, and for the privilege of sharing a life of study, worship, and community here in Chelsea Square.

God’s peace,

 

The Rev. Lang Lowrey       The Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee
Interim President                  Interim Dean

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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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