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Immanuel Chapel Dedicatory Year


by the Rev. David M. Crosby, Associate Rector, October 22, 2015

Earlier this month, Immanuel Chapel at Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) was officially consecrated and dedicated. The VTS community has been using the chapel for their weekday worship life and our parish church of Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill has 'consecrated through use' that special space last Easter and since mid-September. The October 13th Consecration and Evensong was an opportunity to bring the whole Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion around the globe into that special act of setting space aside for the holy work of worship. The Consecration of Immanuel Chapel marks the end of one chapter in the history of VTS and begins another.

Now, to celebrate this wonderful structure and its myriad ways of being used, a Dedicatory Year of events is underway. Individual organ recitals will feature the Taylor and Booty organ; other concerts, community sings and a Messiah Sing-a-Long conducted by Dr. Mark Whitmire (Dec 13, 2015) will make the space ring out with music; and Fridays at the Seminary lecture events and seminars, Biblical Storytelling symposiums, and a special conversation (May 12, 2016) with then-former Presiding Bishops Katharine Jefferts Schori and Frank Griswold, will emphasize the chapel as a teaching laboratory for seminarians, lay students and the community at large

Robert A. M. Stern, the architect of Immanuel Chapel, said in an address following the Evensong, "As the architect for the Immanuel Chapel, I feel blessed by the opportunity to celebrate and contribute to the physical expression of the mission of this great institution ... The design of a sacred space is one of the great privileges an architect could wish for, perhaps the greatest ... I hope our intent to build for the ages will be rewarded ... Immanuel Chapel reflects new and traditional forms of worship, and new ways of expressing community."

Commemorating this time will be a yearlong series of diverse and exciting opportunities. This Dedicatory Year’s events will include music, lectures, classes, and special services to highlight the year while featuring the building's versatility. You won’t want to miss it! A complete calendar of events culminating with Convocation in October 2016 can be found at http://www.vts.edu/chapel.

I hope to see you there!