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Virginia Seminary’s 2012 John Hines Preaching Award Announced

1/27/2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Susan Shillinglaw
Tel: 703-461-1764
Email: sshillinglaw@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA
The Rev. Anne M. Turner, assistant to the Rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Arlington, Virginia, has been named recipient of Virginia Theological Seminary’s 2012 John Hines Preaching Award. The award is given annually to the outstanding preaching entry “where prophetic voice is central within the sermon.”

Named in honor of the former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, John Hines (VTS ’33), the award celebrates the ministry of preaching and its importance in our Church by recognizing outstanding sermons that are deeply grounded in scripture and focused on the seen and unseen needs of the worshipping community, the nation, and the world.

Turner based her award-winning sermon on Micah 3:5-12, comparing Micah’s calling-out of the religious and political elite and their inertia toward justice to today’s society. “They stood by in silence as systems of justice broke down,” Turner wrote. “They didn’t ask hard questions when others’ corruption worked in their favor… quite simply and literally, they had sold out.”

Turner continued, “I’m not sure we have all that much on 8th century Israel, if we stop to think about it. Perhaps we didn’t create this unbalanced system. But we are often beneficiaries of it.

“Can we let in this voice of challenge to remind us just how urgent economic justice is, and how complicit we are in making or unmaking it? Can we remember that even if it’s normal for people to go hungry or to lose their homes that it’s still not right?” The full text of Turner’s sermon can be found at www.vts.edu.

Tuner was called to St. Mary’s in the summer of 2009. Previously, she served as Priest Associate at Grace Church in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her ministry focused on children, youth, and families. Anne also served as Assistant Rector at Grace Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Anne holds degrees from Berkley Divinity School at Yale and the Shakespeare Institute (University of Birmingham), England. Prior to ordination, Anne worked at the Folger Shakespeare Library, coordinating local educational outreach programs. At St. Mary’s, her ministry includes support for Christian formation and families. Anne works part-time at St. Mary’s in order to honor her other vocation as mother of two young children.

Virginia Seminary invites all preachers – bishops, priests, deacons and laity of the Episcopal Church in America – to submit sermons.  Sermons preached outside the United States by clergy who are canonically resident in a diocese of the Episcopal Church USA and by lay people who are parishioners in an Episcopal Church USA congregation are acceptable as well. The deadline for submission is December 15. Visit www.vts.edu for more information.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.