Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Washington, D.C. is a remarkable place to be. It is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in the United States. The cultural resources are immense, beginning with the Smithsonian Institute that provides for the public museums open to all without charge. Churches reflect this diversity, as do the theological centers that make up the Washington Theological Consortium, of which VTS is a founding member.

Our poverty of riches is truly a blessing, though the need for triage of opportunities is a continuing necessity, especially given the tug and pulls between the particular opportunities only VTS can offer and the broader resources that Washington offers. One example is evident this month as Black History Month.

* Our Bishop Payne Library has on display an exhibit on the African American artist Allan Rohan Crite, which includes several of his works which draw together religious themes and the African American experience.
* The library also has an exhibit on the Rev. Pauli Murray, pioneer lawyer in the civil rights and women movements and first African-American woman ordains as priest in the Episcopal Church. This compliments the lecture and presentation on Pauli Murray on February 11 at 7 p.m. in the Lettie Pate Evans Interim Chapel.
* The library also has an exhibit on “African American Firsts in the Episcopal Church.”

Two outstanding opportunities in Washington expand the horizon in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War year of 1863 in which Lincoln promulgated the Emancipation Proclamation.

* The Library of Congress has through February 18 a display on the “Civil War in American,” which includes two, seldom seen documents: the first handwritten draft of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Lincoln Bible.
* The National Portrait Gallery offers photographs and historic prints in a display titled “Bound for Freedom’s Light: African Americans and the Civil War.”

I continue to find this to be a truly a remarkable time and place to be at VTS in Alexandria and within ten minutes (when it isn’t rush hour) of the museums, galleries, and libraries in Washington, D.C.

Timothy F. Sedgwick, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Clinton S. Quin Professor of Christian Ethics