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Reverend Disappointed at Opposition on Move of Church Center

Dec 07, 2002 02:19 PM EST

Reverend Ward B. Ewing, Dean and President of the Episcopal Church, expressed his disappointment to the Presiding Bishop and advisory committee’s decision against the plan to move the Episcopal Church Center to the campus of The General Theological Seminary on Thursday.

"We at the Seminary are understandably disappointed by this turn of events," said the Dean at a special meeting of the GTS faculty and administration held at 2 pm today. "It was an exciting vision held by many throughout our Church. But in the end, no partnership can be truly effective without the shared enthusiasm and commitment of both parties."

Also, the Dean mentioned that considerable money and effort was made on the proposal, yet he also understood the fact that more studies on the project may be valuable for discussion with other developmental partners.

"We are looking toward the future. Besides the great resource of the Chelsea Square property, GTS is blessed with a generous endowment; enrollment is the highest it has been in fifteen years; we have an outstanding faculty and staff; and innovative outreach and continuing education programs are underway - all of these are evidence of the Seminary's enduring commitment to serving the Church in a changing world."

When asked about what he would say during the special meeting with the Seminary’s student body at 7pm in the evening, Reverend Ewing said, "I will express some sadness, of course, but also my very real and renewed confidence that, with their help, the help of the our alumni, our trustees, our many benefactors and, certainly, the support of the national Church by whom we were founded, GTS will pursue the great calling it has followed for the last 186 years in providing the finest in theological training and formation for the Church’s future leaders.”

-- Reverend Robert Giannini, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis and the chairman of the General’s Board of Trustees, commented at the rejection of the proposal. "My understanding was that Executive Council had approved moving forward and that Bishop Griswold had expressed his endorsement of their action. Though regrettable, I'm in agreement that such a move needs to have the complete support of all parties involved."

-- Reverend Rosemari Sullivan, executive officer of the General Convention Office, also commented on the decision of the Bishop. "While you not doubt realize, as we do, that the subcommittee's report was part of an ongoing process and not a decision, the General Seminary has apparently chosen to view this report from a different perspective."

By Tony C.