Friday, October 05, 2007

VTS Press Release: Bishop Gene Robinson at the Seminary

Just received this VTS press release about the forum on campus that many of us attended yesterday, and that many of our advisee groups discussed this morning. You'll notice that Gene made a point of holding and speaking out of the Bible (I'm glad it was an NOAB, to which I contributed!)

Bishop Gene Robinson

Alexandria, VA – Students, faculty, and staff at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) packed the campus auditorium today to hear the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire, who spoke to the community about living in to God’s call as a witness to justice and His love for the world.

“Humans find it difficult to handle disagreement and difference,” said the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, “but we are deeply committed to the imperative of living in the midst of the conversation, and it is in this spirit that we welcome Bishop Robinson to Virginia Seminary. We are deeply grateful for his kindness and willingness to do this.”

Said Robinson to the rapt audience, “It is the great gift of God to me that the Diocese of New Hampshire spends little or no time on the issues that you would suspect we would be dealing with… we are just getting on with the Gospel. I often say to people that if want to see what the church is going to be like when we [all] stop obsessing about sex, then come to the Diocese of New Hampshire.”

Reading from the sixth book of Isaiah, Robinson said, “What I say to my seminarians is that this is the context in which I want you to understand everything that you will do in Seminary… that is the template for telling the story of your own salvation at the hands of a loving God - it’s the only story that you have to tell and the only story that will change the world.”

Robinson continued, “Understanding who we are in relation to God’s goodness can only cause us to repent and to acknowledge how far short of God’s call to us that we fall… I think in order to be effective in ministry-- ordained or lay—it’s that constant reminder of our own inability to be the person that God created us to be.

“My greatest fear for the church right now is that we’ll be admirers of Jesus rather than disciples… if you and I haven’t had our hearts and our lives transformed by Jesus, then we will be hard pressed to convince anyone else that the news we have for them is good, that what God has done for us, God will not only do for them, but longs to do for them.

“We are meant to do the hard work of the Gospel,” concluded Robinson, “it’s the doing of justice that’s hard… we are meant not only to pull the drowning people from the raging river, but we are meant to walk back upstream and find out who’s throwing them in. That’s the work of justice.”

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 55 different dioceses and 7 different countries, for service in the Church.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the sixth book of isaiah"?

Fri Oct 05, 02:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger S and C said...

Hmmm... He was talking about Isa 6 and the (re)commissioning scene there... --S.

Fri Oct 05, 02:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah. i was just bemused that the press release confused "book" and "chapter".

Sat Oct 06, 10:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

Could you let me know, too, when you catch errors? It would certainly be helpful to me. We are, after all, in this together. Thanks.


Wed Oct 10, 03:42:00 PM GMT-5  

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