Local Episcopal Churches Raise Funds For Texas Pauli Murray Seminary Scholarships

Posted Mar 2, 2023

Local Episcopal Churches Raise Funds For Texas Pauli Murray SEMINARY SCHOLARSHIPS AT Event Honoring Judge Lora Livingston, Rabbi Neil Blumofe, and Rev. Al Rodríquez for their Interfaith Work and to Create a More Diverse Clergy

A Black History Month Event at St. David’s Episcopal Church

The purpose of the February 23 event, hosted at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, was to raise funds for three scholarships to help cover living expenses for African American ministry students and students of color at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in addition to financial academic support provided by the seminary.

The scholarship program, which was inaugurated four years ago, is named for Pauli Murray (1910-1985), a woman of remarkable energy, vision, and accomplishment. A civil rights attorney and a co-worker of Ruth Bader Ginsburg before she became a Justice, Pauli Murray was a pioneer and groundbreaker in many different fields of endeavor, and her life included many “firsts” – including the first African American woman ordained to the Episcopal clergy, a co-founder of the National Organization for Women, and the original author of legal arguments later used to desegregate public schools in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision and later to enhance the equal protection of women.

The Rev. Jim Harrington, co-chair of the Texas Pauli Murray Scholarship Committee, said “the scholarship has helped open the doors to ministry students who might not otherwise be able to attend seminary. Not only does it open the doors for students, but it prepares them to serve the communities of color from which they come. And to have the scholarship named after Pauli Murray makes the point. This began as a community effort and continues to be such, which is inspiring and important.”

The event is also sponsored by the Myra McDaniel Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians (UBE). Myra McDaniel herself was a ground breaker, being the first African American Secretary of State. Until her death, she was a member of St. James’ Episcopal Church.

The event, attended by 170 people, opened with a greeting from the Rev. Chuck Treadwell, St. David’s Rector, and prayer by Texas Bishop Suffragan Kai Ryan.

Seminary of the Southwest has an information page on its website, on which people can make donations to support the Pauli Murray scholars: https://ssw.edu/donations/the-texas-pauli-murray-scholarship-2/.

For more information, please call Rev. Jim Harrington at 512-771-1759.