A Message from Bishop Hollingsworth

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A Message from Bishop Hollingsworth

August 16, 2016

 

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,

Last night, our colleague Evelyn Manzella discussed with the Vestry of St. James Church in Wooster that, over a period of many years, she has come to the realization and acceptance that she is transgender and she will begin transitioning to being a male. Today she will share the same with the rest of the parish.

The Vestry is, to a person, fully understanding and supportive of Evelyn in this, which is not surprising 18 years into their relationship as Rector and Parish. She has been a faithful and dedicated companion to them, and they know her well. I have been in conversation with Evelyn about this since she came to the decision to move forward with transitioning, and I share their support of and commitment to her, without reservation.

I recognize that for many, Evelyn's transition will seem a natural progression, and for others it may be more difficult to grasp. As each of us strives to become more completely and faithfully who we understand ourselves to be, we do so in the knowledge that God loves us without condition and without exception, understanding and cherishing who we are, often before we do, ourselves. It is the church's vocation to replicate that love with humility and generosity.

Attached to this email are letters to the parish from both Evelyn and the Senior Warden, Celia Smart. I encourage you to read them as you keep our colleague and the congregation she loves and serves in your prayers.

Please feel free to share this letter with your own communicants, and know that I hold Evelyn, St. James Church, and each of you in my prayers of gratitude and affection.

With every blessing,

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio