To: The Most. Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori: It's time to step in; push for full reinstatement of the GTS8
By refusing to fully reinstate the GTS8, the seminary has failed to live out its religious values. We now turn to the Presiding Bishop and Church for leadership and accountability. What the Board of Trustees has done wrong, you can make right: demand nothing less than the full reinstatement of the GTS8.
Why is this important?
As the Deputy Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, a national organization that engages the faith community in worker rights issues, I’ve encountered my fair share of unscrupulous corporate bosses who strip workers of their rights and dignity on the job.
As a faithful Episcopalian and divinity school graduate, whose experience of church and seminary led me to my vocation, I never imagined the day when I’d find myself rallying against leaders of the Church’s oldest seminary, General Theological Seminary (GTS).
Today, Oct. 17, the GTS Board of Trustees ruled against pleas — from students, clergy, worker advocates and concerned people of faith — to fully reinstate the eight GTS professors (GTS8) who were recently let go for exercising their legal right to demand fair treatment and a healthy work environment.
As custodians and overseers of an institution charged with nurturing the next generation of faith leaders, the Board of Trustees’ decision jeopardizes not just the lives and livelihoods of the GTS8, but also the integrity of an institution founded on Episcopalian values that includes the just and fair treatment of workers.
The seminary has failed to live out its religious values, so it's time to look to the Presiding Bishop and Church for leadership and accountability. What the board of trustees has done is wrong. The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, can make this right. Episcopalians, seminarians, clergy, people of faith and worker rights advocates all over the country are waiting for her to act. The GTS8 deserve nothing less than full reinstatement.