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Letters to the Editor for Sept. 30, 2021: Remembering the spirit of John Shelby Spong
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Letters to the Editor for Sept. 30, 2021: Remembering the spirit of John Shelby Spong

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Remembering the spirit

of John Shelby Spong

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

Having already read articles in The New York Times and The Washington Post on the recent death of Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, I found the piece by Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams to be superior in capturing the legacy of this remarkable man. Williams elicited quotes from Richmond-area theologians to get to the essence of what Spong preached, believed and lived.

As natives of Lynchburg, my wife and I became aware of Jack (as he was known to us) when he was rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church from 1965 to 1969. As he did everywhere, he challenged both his parishioners and the city on matters of race, gender and sexual orientation. Although many reviled him for his positions, many others were greatly inspired by his message of tolerance, equality and love.

Williams cites theologian Corey D.B. Walker lauding Spong’s “commitment to inclusivity and his recognition of the worth and dignity of all people.” God knows we need that today in our troubled nation and world.

William O. (Bill) Blackwell.

Midlothian.

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