More From Presiding Bishop Curry

A wonderful video where Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers a Word to the Church.

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And The Top Ten Things You are Likely to Hear in a Michael Curry Sermon:

(Assembled by the Diocese of North Carolina Standing Committee and presented at a reception held for the new PB in D.C. the night before the installation.)

10:  “This morning I lift my text from…
EVERYONE: Anywhere but today’s propers!”

9: “Now bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this!”

8:  “God didn’t put you on this earth just to use up oxygen!”

7: “I’m not going to be up here long”

6: “If you’re breathing, God’s calling”

5: “We have a God! And that God raised Jesus from the dead.”
EVERYONE: “I don’t know how he did it, but he did!”

4: “When Israel was in Egypt land,”
Everyone (singing):  LET MY PEOPLE GO!

3: “One more thing and then I’m going to sit down.”

2: “There is a balm in Gilead…”

And the Number one thing you are likely to hear in a Michael Curry sermon:

GO!!

Video Of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Sermon from his Installation and other PB resources

Video of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at his installation as the 27th Presiding Bishop.  “God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet!” Well worth a listen. Posted by the Episcopal News Service.

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In a 10-minute video interview with the Episcopal News Service, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori reflects on her nine-year term in office that began Nov. 1, 2006. She discusses her vision of the reign of God on earth, her hopes for The Episcopal Church, what it has been like to be the first woman to hold the office of presiding bishop and primate, how she has been inspired and where she has found solace. Posted by the Epsicopal News Service.

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Click here to see an interactive timeline tracing all of the Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church.

A Letter from Bishop Sean: General Convention Concludes

July 3, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

The 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church has just concluded in Salt Lake City. It has been a momentous time, both in the church and in the world.

I am preparing to leave General Convention with great hope for the Episcopal Church. We have passed a budget with substantial investments in evangelism and church planting, we have made a major commitment to the work of racial reconciliation, and we have elected the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, a dynamic preacher and powerful evangelist, as our next presiding bishop. Bishop Curry will be the first African American person to lead the Episcopal Church, and the news of his election was reported and celebrated around the world. I am eager to work with him over the next nine years.

While we were gathered at General Convention, the Supreme Court of the United States made marriage equality the law of the land. While this does not change the law in Pennsylvania, where we have enjoyed marriage equality since last spring, it does bring about long-sought legal equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sisters and brothers.

Just a few days later, both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies overwhelmingly approved two resolutions that bring liturgical marriage equality to all dioceses of the Episcopal Church beginning on the first Sunday in Advent. The canons of the church regarding marriage have been changed to be gender-neutral, and two trial liturgies have been approved. One is a gender-neutral version of the current marriage service in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, and the other is a version of a liturgy called “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” that was first approved for blessing same-sex unions in 2012 and now can include vows of marriage. Bishops who object to same-sex marriage are not required to authorize these liturgies, but they are required to make provision with another bishop to do so for same-sex couples in their dioceses. As has always been the case, clergy will not be required to perform marriages that violate their consciences.

Our path toward marriage equality in the Episcopal Church has been long–some 40 years–and sometimes difficult, and I celebrate that we have finally arrived at a time when we can provide not only legal protection, but also full recognition of the sacred bond that unites both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples who marry in our church.

I have not always seen the issue of marriage equality the way I do now, and I understand that this decision of the General Convention may be difficult for some people to understand and accept. If you are struggling with this change, I hope that you can find ways to listen to the stories of our LGBT couples and families across the church and find, as I have found, the power of their witness and their love of Jesus. My relationships with LGBT Christians have brought me to a new understanding of scripture, fidelity, and marriage, and I am grateful to them for so generously sharing their lives with me.

When the House of Deputies was preparing to take the final vote on marriage equality, Jim Steadman of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania said, “For years we have concluded worship by asking that God grant us the strength and courage to do the work he has given us to do. This is the time. Use the courage you have prayed for all these years.”

May we go forward into this new world of greater justice and unity with just this kind of courage and an abundance of love.

In Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe

Bishop Rowe Nov 2014-93wt

Saying Goodbye to General Convention

July 3, 2015 — Day 9 — the last day of the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City

Kaycee Reib (far left) with friends new and old

Kaycee Reib (far left) with friends new and old

The time has gone quickly because we have been so busy. Today brought a lot of emotions. It is sad to see it end and we are all a bit on the tired side. Up at 5:45 AM to get to a Certification of  Minutes Committee meeting at 7:15.
The committee has been a good one, being vice-chair has been fun, and 3 of us worked together before. We take notes through the legislative sessions and then meet the next AM early to go over the written minutes from the Secretariat (an awesome bunch, including our own Vanessa Butler). They do the work!!!! We worked quickly today because the Eucharist was at 8:30 AM and we didn’t want to miss it.

And what an exciting worship time it was! Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schorie was celebrant. President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Jennings, and Secretary of the HOD,  the Rev.Michael Barlowe participated as well. The Presiding Bishop Elect, the Right Rev. Michael Curry gave the sermon. WOW! We have certainly elected an evangelist to lead us during the next 9 years. He challenged us all to be active in The Jesus Movement, to remember that the first word in the Creat Commission is “Go”, and to get out of our churches and take Jesus into the world to bring healing and love into the hurting world we live in. I hope you will find a link to listen to Bishop Curry’s sermon if you missed it today! His inspiring sermon reminded us, “God loves you just the way you are… but He doesn’t intend to leave you that way.”

The legislative work was hectic. Work is much easier with our Virtual Binders, I-pads we were each given to use during convention, loaded with all we needed to know: seating charts and lists, worship services (different each day), the agendas, and all the legislative information… in English and in Spanish!!  By going paperless (almost) the convention saved over $100,000… and it worked close to perfectly.
With a 1 hr lunch break and a couple of short recesses, all of the work for convention was finished in the House of Deputies by shortly after 6 PM. We turned in our binders, electronic voting cards and chargers and said goodbye to old friends and new. The final Minutes meeting ended about 7:20.
Bishop Sean treated both the Dioceses of NWPA and Bethlehem to a lovely dinner….I believe Vanessa and Julien planned the menu choices. Yummy!… and now we are on our way home, some tonight, some tomorrow. We have lots to share and we are looking forward to being back with our home congregations.
Salt Lake City has been a beautiful, friendly, welcoming and gracious venue. Utah Night on Wednesday at the Mormon Tabernacle was quite a show….a variety of groups entertained with singing in Spanish and English, PowWow dances, Taiko drums, and then 220 members of the Tabernacle Choir accompanied by a great orchestra. The countryside looks beautiful although we haven’t had time to explore it. We even flew over snow capped mountains.
I had some new experiences at GC: I have been riding around on a scooter (what a blessing and a lot of fun too); and I had sushi for the fist time with Father Brian. I’m hooked!
I am truly grateful to represent our Diocese at GC. Thanks to all who made it possible. Bishop Sean was quoted yesterday by the President of the House yesterday. Can you guess? “It’s a great day in the Kingdom!” What more is there to say?

Kaycee Reib, Deputy  2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015

Bishop Michael Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina has been elected and confirmed as the next presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.

Reprinted from the House of Deputy News

Photo By Jim Steadman

Photo By Jim Steadman

Bishop Michael Bruce Curry of the Diocese of North Carolina has been elected and confirmed as the next presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Curry, who will be the first African American to lead the church, was elected on the first ballot with 121 of 174 votes.

The news was announced to more than 850 members of the church’s House of Deputies and perhaps 200 observes shortly before 2 p. m. The election was greeted with sustained applause and song.

When Curry entered the hall later in the afternoon, deputies greeted him and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori by singing “We are one together, yo, yo, yo,” a song composed by the Rev. Lester Mackenzie, a South African native who is chaplain to House of Deputies.

The house had delayed its afternoon recess and Curry’s first words were: “Oh God love you, I know you haven’t had lunch, so no sermons now.”

The presiding-bishop elect, who will assume his duties on November 1, spoke of his love for the church. “This is the church where I learned about Jesus,” he said. “My grandmother used to say, ‘We have a good God,” and we do.

“We’ve got a society with challenges around us. … But nothing can stop the movement of God’s love in the world.”

Curry, 62, will become the first African American bishop to lead the church.  He has served churches in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Lincoln Heights, Ohio, and was rector of St. James Church in Baltimore when he was elected bishop in 2000.

Curry is known as a dynamic preacher. At the church’s General Convention in 2012 he delivered a stirring sermon urging Episcopalians to become Crazy Christians. The sermon spawned a book of the same title in which Curry wrote: “We need some Christians who are as crazy as the Lord. Crazy enough to love like Jesus, to give like Jesus, to forgive like Jesus, to do justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God— like Jesus. Crazy enough to dare to change the world from the nightmare it often is into something close to the dream that God dreams for it. And for those who would follow him, those who would be his disciples, those who would live as and be the people of the Way? It might come as a shock, but they are called to craziness.”

In 2013, Curry supported the moral Monday movement in his state, which included numerous Episcopal clergy.  He told Sharon Sheridan of Episcopal News Service: “There was a legislative agenda that was being enacted in the General Assembly that was disproportionately impacting the poor, the elderly, the vulnerable, and potentially disenfranchising even some voters. So what could have been seen as simply politics as usual became much more a matter of public morality.”

Curry allows his clergy to bless same-sex relationships. In October 2014 he released “Pastotal Policies and Guidelines for the Solemnization and Blessing of the Marriage of Same-Sex Couples.” In a preface to the guidelines he wrote: “deep wrestling with the Holy Scriptures … led me, over time, to the conviction that the lives of faithful disciples of Jesus who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered bear witness to the love of God that has been revealed in Jesus, and they can be models of holiness and sanctity of life and relationships. This led me to affirm that the Church can and should bless the unions of Christian same-sex couples as well as expand the discernment processes leading to ordination to include gay and lesbian persons who may be in covenanted, lifelong unions.”

Curry has also urged his state’s legislature not to weaken the state’s gun safety laws in an op-ed article co-written with Bishop Anne Hodges Copple for the Charlotte Observer.  “Too much of the daily work of leaders of all faiths and denominations across North Carolina is helping grieving parishioners cope with loss in the wake of gun violence, and too much of our daily work is presiding over funerals of young people shot to death with guns that made their way into the wrong hands,” they wrote.

Curry, who had surgery for colon cancer in November, was born in Chicago attended public schools in Buffalo, New York, and graduated with high honors from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, in 1975. He received his Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from Yale University Divinity School.

Curry and his wife, Sharon, have two adult daughters, Rachel and Elizabeth.

Big issues, big names

SALT LAKE CITY — The Episcopal Church’s 78th General Convention is considering several groundbreaking resolutions, including amending the marriage canons to include language for same-sex couples and overhauling the church’s bicameral structure.
 
The potential for big changes brought out two big names on Thursday night.
 
1471176_10207037362198357_6109511603389922704_nPresiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to be elected to that post in the Episcopal Church, addressed the church’s Committee on Governance and Structure. Its members include Bishop Sean Rowe and the Rev. Adam Trambley, both of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
 
And at another site, retired Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay priest elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church, addressed the Special Legislative Committee on Marriage. Its members include attorney Jim Steadman, chancellor of the Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Cathedral of St. Paul.
 
The presiding bishop’s presence riveted the packed committee room where deputies and bishops had been debating whether to change the Episcopal Church’s high-level operations. Jefferts Schori, who is retiring at this convention after serving one nine-year term, spoke of a presiding bishop’s need for strong executive powers.
 
Jefferts Schori displayed humility and good humor. Everyone in the room stood when she walked to the microphone stand, and she gave a sheepish grin as she told everyone to sit down. And when everyone stood up as she left, she waved her arm with a smile, signaling to everyone, once again, to please sit down.
 
The presiding bishop’s appearance at a committee hearing was unusual, and underscored the importance of the governance issues. Gene Robinson’s appearance at the marriage hearing reflected that issue’s significance as well.
 
Robinson’s election as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 sent the Episcopal Church into turmoil. He spoke Thursday night of that period, and how the Episcopal Church survived it.
 
Robinson said the Episcopal Church could wait no longer to amend the marriage canons with gender-neutral language. The church, he said, has for years supported gay rights and allowed same-sex blessings. He said American culture now is pushing for even more change. Most of the country fully accepts gay marriage, Robinson said, and so should the Episcopal Church.
 
“I think it is time,” he told the committee.
 
Robinson, like Katharine Jefferts Schori spoke from experience.