If you are not acquainted with Susan Russell, the Episcopal priest pictured to the right, you might think from the photograph that she is a screaming larger-than-life Bible banger out to convert the world. When I first met her years ago, she seemed to be a quiet down-to-earth, well spoken woman of God, giving her all for the Church and for equality. Perhaps we are both right.
As President of IntegrityUSA, the lgbt organization within The Episcopal Church, Susan was a powerful force, always present and always seeking justice. When she would show up on a CNN news program at 8am, I knew that meant she was sitting in front of those cameras at 5am in her southern California home. She might very well be still going long after the sun went down, but nothing seemed to slow her down.
The purpose of this blog is to write about making a difference in this world, just in case you are visiting here for the very first time, and it is people like Susan that we talk about because she has truly made a difference and continues to do every single day. Her own blog, An Inch At A Time, tells her story and the story of the struggle for inclusion. I urge you to take a peek there and to read her words.
The Reverend Susan Russell is not someone that I know well. Much of what I know of her is from the media and from other folks who know her much better. Still, she is one of my heroes, something which most likely would embarrass her, but it truly warms my heart to see such dedication, such love and devotion, and such a complete witness to the Gospel of Jesus.
One more thing: yesterday just happened to be her birthday. I celebrated her life and her extraordinary ministry as she begins another year. May God grant her many more!