One exciting area of innovation in the Seminary is the work of the Rev. Dr. David Gortner in Church and Community Engagement. His task is to find new ways of training future leadership of the Church for stronger community impact and the building of new faith communities; and part of his brief is to model this through partnership with others in the community. An example of this kind of partnership was launched last Sunday in the new 5pm Sunday liturgy called "A Light on the Hill."
Immanuel Church on the Hill, Episcopal High School and Virginia Theological Seminary are collaborating together to create this opportunity. The last time there was explicit collaboration between these three entities in a liturgy was back in the 1970s. Planned by Dr. Gortner, the Rev. Randy Alexander, the Rev. Betsy Carmody-Gonzalez, and first year VTS student Brandon McGinnis, this 5pm liturgy combines the BCP’s Order for Evening with the Order for Celebration of Holy Eucharist. The service moves through four liturgical “chapters” of Light, Word, Prayer, and Table, concluding with Sending.
Leadership in this service is shared between the three entities. Last Sunday, our VTS Praise Band led music beautifully. This Sunday, the Episcopal High School Choir will be front and center. Do please consider joining this liturgy. Partnership is the future. And Dr. Gortner is showing us how to do this effectively.
The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D.
Dean and President