On Jan. 29, we at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church here in Chestnut Hill will have the honor of welcoming the Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, Bishop Assistant of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
On Jan. 29, we at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church here in Chestnut Hill will have the honor of welcoming the Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, Bishop Assistant of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, to preach and lead a forum in honor of St. Paul’s Day.
Bishop Glasspool is a groundbreaking figure in the Church. She began her ministry here at St. Paul’s Chestnut Hill in 1981, and was ordained to the priesthood here in 1982. To put this into historical context, she was ordained as a priest eight years after the first 11 women in history were ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church at the Church of the Advocate here in Philadelphia (a group now known as the Philadelphia Eleven) and only six years after the General Convention of the Episcopal Church authorized the ordination of women to the priesthood.
Mary continued to answer God’s call in her trailblazing vocation when, in 2009, she was elected as the first openly partnered, lesbian bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion. She was consecrated as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles the following year.
Bishop Glasspool is coming to St. Paul’s at my invitation to preach at the 10 a.m. single service that Sunday in celebration of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
That service will be followed by a conversation between the bishop and me about her time at St. Paul’s and her subsequent career which included, among many accomplishments, serving in 1988 as the nominator and floor manager for Barbara Harris’ candidacy to be the suffragan bishop in Massachusetts. Harris, originally from Philadelphia, was elected and consecrated the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion.
Mary was born on Staten Island, raised in Goshen, NY, where her father, Douglas Murray Glasspool, served as rector of St. James’ Church until his death in 1989. In 2016, she was called back to New York where she now serves as Bishop Assistant of that diocese.
Mary is known throughout the Church as a consummate preacher and teacher. She has spent her 42-year ministry embodying loving kindness and compassion for the people she serves while also being a diligent leader and administrator. Bishop Glasspool has been an inspiration to LGBTQ+ Christians and their allies throughout the world.
The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion which has its roots in the Church of England. The Episcopal Church is known for its beautiful, traditional worship as well as its expansive and inclusive theological tradition.
We invite you to join us for this service and for the conversation with Bishop Glasspool that will follow.
The Rev. Eric Hungerford
Rector, St. Paul’s Church
To learn more about St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, visit us at www.stpaulschestnuthill.org.