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Letter to GTS students: 7 Faculty to return

Letter to GTS students: 7 Faculty to return

Received via email:

Dear Students,

This afternoon, we agreed that seven former faculty members will be returning. The following is a joint press release that explains this matter:

The Board of Trustees, Dean, and Faculty of General Theological Seminary jointly announced that they have today reached an agreement regarding the immediate issues which have led to heated debates within and without the walls of the nation’s oldest Episcopal seminary. The resolution involves an ongoing process of reconciliation, a reinstatement of all of the returning faculty members on a provisional basis, and a re-affirmation of the responsibilities of the Board of Trustees and the Dean.

Spokespersons for all involved stated that they supported the resolution and looked forward to implementing together the mission of GTS to educate and form leaders for the changing church in a changing world, as it has successfully done for almost 200 years.

Regarding chapel, we will continue for the time being with the present schedule and services. I will work with all concerned in the coming weeks to hear your views and suggestions on how each liturgy should develop over time.

Reconciliation, as I am sure we will hear later tonight, will require much of all of us. I encourage all to join in fully; I will walk with you on this with an open heart. You are not alone.

I look forward to seeing everyone this evening in Seabury Auditorium at 7pm.

Kurt

The Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle

Dean and President | The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church

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Fr. Anthony C. Dinoto, MDiv '99

The people of my parish continue to keep the victims in this situation, the faculty members and students, in our prayers. Why hasn't the GTS Board suspended the dean (at least temporarily) until the accusations and complaints lodged against him are fully investigated? How can any meaningful 'mediation' go forward? And how does the stubborn refusal to retain a truncated chapel schedule lend to the healing process?? Fr. Anthony C. Dinoto, Rector, St. John's-Niantic, CT

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Kris Lewis

Anyone who was on the Close over the last few days (ask I was) can tell you that there is no rejoicing. Even the presence of our beloved Arcbishop Tutu could not ameliorate the palpable sadness permeating the Chapel during the Memorial Eucharist. Grief abounds. I continue to pray for the GTS8 and for the students. I continue to pray for truth telling. I continue to pray for true reconciliaiton.

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Anthony Christiansen

To this, Tim Boggs, I'll only respond with a quote that was posted yesterday by another member in the GTS8 Safe Space forum on Facebook:

"Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without repentance, Baptism without Church discipline, Communion without Confession... Cheap grace is grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living, incarnate, resurrected and ascended." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)

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Tim Boggs

The great gladness in the GTS progress is three-fold. 1) For the students who can return to their formative classes with excellent teachers while being called themselves to an historically significant reconciliation time for the Church. 2) For the dean, faculty, students, trustees, benefactors, bishops and alumni, we have been given the privilege of truly collaborating on God's good 21st Century work in this brilliantly positioned, beloved place. 3) And for us all, we now can drop our anxious and adamant tones and step into a place of listening, forgiving, confessing, healing and creating. Thank God!

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Jim Naughton

Tom, a member of the board has said on Facebook that one of the eight has accepted a severance package. There seems to be a general agreement that this person will announce that decision in his or her own time.

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