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National gathering at Seminary of the Southwest Sept. 14-17

[ETSS]  Students from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest (ETSS) will host the annual Seminarian Leadership Conference September 14-17.

The event will draw up to 30 student leaders from the 11 Episcopal seminaries and divinity schools to Austin, Texas, said Ken Malcolm, a senior at ETSS from the Diocese of Virginia. Malcolm and Donald Smith, a fellow senior seminarian from the Diocese of West Tennessee, are planning and coordinating the event.

Supported by a generous grant from the Evangelical Education Society of the Episcopal Church, the leadership conference's theme this year is "It is all about relationship."

Malcolm notes that "the very core of our existence is relationship -- with God, with each other, and with one's self." Seminarians will share liturgy, prayer, fellowship, and food during their stay on the Austin campus.

"What does it mean to say it is all about relationship in a church and a world that struggles with the very idea?" Malcolm said. "To be a member of the Anglican Communion is, by definition, relational. We can't begin to express what that means for our church without first exploring our relationships with Christ and each other."

Seminarians will explore what it means to say "It is all about relationship" through biblical, theological, educational, communal and mission perspectives.

The Seminary of the Southwest will host the conference for the first time.