Occupying most of the eastern section of the hilly older quarter of Staunton, the primarily residential Gospel Hill Historic District contains a rich assemblage of 19th- and early-20th-century styles. The houses, mostly freestanding ones on small lots, range from simple Federal structures to mansions in the later revivalist styles, including Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival. Many of the more distinctive Colonial Revival residences were designed by the Staunton architect T. J. Collins. The district remains devoid of significant visual intrusions. Few of the streets are through ones, assuring an air of quiet dignity in many blocks. Particularly interesting architectural variety is found on East Beverley and Kalorama streets. The Gospel Hill Historic District is bordered on the east by the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind and on the west by Mary Baldwin College.
Whether we think of language or nation, race or gender, we are probing the nature of our identity, what it means to be a new creation in Christ, in whom there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. Reconciliation, in relation to God and to each other, is central in Christianity. Any theology which disables such a reconciliation is false. That is not to dictate a line of thought on any of the matters discussed in this issue. We are talking of reconciliation on divine, not on human terms, reconciliation in the truth, not apart from it, where affirming diversity and distinction may be an expression of and not a flight from reconciliation. Our talk of reconciliation does, however, remind us of both the criterion and the ethos of our theological thinking about gospel, language and nationhood. Perhaps there are no easy answers. But we must believe that as we mine the firm and abiding Word of God for the riches of its disclosure about the ways of God, humanity and world, we shall more rejoice at the divine provision for us, than lament our present theological perplexities. 041b061a72