Our presiding bishop’s sermon, reflecting on the reading from Mark’s Gospel, was that of a woman about to be free. In four months, Katharine Jefferts Schori hands off the office of presiding bishop to Michael Curry and moves into a well-deserved retirement.
She spoke with a vigor I haven’t heard before – and I’ve heard some excellent sermons from her.
Sunday, she spoke very forcefully about the gospel lesson – the two healings by Jesus: one of a 12-year-old and one of the woman suffering from hemorrhage. In response to the healing of Jairus’ dead daughter, Bishop Katharine reminded me what may have been said was “Get up! You’re not dead!” I translated that to mean, “Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, get up – you are not dead! We need to get out there and be about what Christ has called us to do.”
Her words to the church were powerful words. There has been enough of the finger pointing, finger wagging about our church from within and outside, and it is now time to look at life as new territory and crossing old boundaries to do God’s ministry, just as Jesus did in each of His healings.
Saturday was a glorious day for the Episcopal Church. We, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies selected, with the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, the next Presiding Bishop of our beloved church. As you know, the Bishops elected on the first ballot-something unprecedented in recent history. I believe we have elected one who is a true evangelist, who shares his love of Jesus freely with all of God’s children. He has certainly done that in his Diocese of North Caroline. I have known Bishop Michael for a long time and am a big fan of his as a champion of the Gospel. I can’t wait for our Diocese to get to know him in a very personal way. Please continue pray for us as we continue to do the business of the church.
There will be one legislative session in the afternoon, with the bishops and deputies meeting separately. You can watch either of those sessions live on the General Convention Media Hub as well. Here’s what they’ll be talking about:
View a slideshow of photos from today relating to the election and confirmation of the Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry as the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.
Additional photos will be added later today and this week, so feel free to check back.
“We’ve got a society where there are challenges before us, and we know that; there are crises all around us, and the Church has challenges before us. But we’ve got a God, and there really is a Jesus – and we are part of the ‘Jesus movement,’ and nothing can stop the movement of God’s love in this world – nothing!” – Presiding Bishop Elect Michael Curry
Curry then quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who, he laughed, was “probably quoting Augustine or somebody” when he said about God’s movement in the world:
“By himself, God won’t; by ourselves, we can’t, but together with God, we can – and we will!”
We celebrated Cornelius Hill, Episcopal priest and the last hereditary chief of the Oneida nation, who used his Christian faith to help his people deal with the changes they faced and the authority of his ordination to be a bridge between the Oneida and white culture.
The Rev. Cathlena Plummer of Navajoland told the powerful story of her family raising sheep and hearing the voice of her deceased father call to her by her Navajo name to save the sheep. That call to save the sheep also led her to become a priest, combining her Christian and Navajo spiritual identity.
Jesus tells us in the gospel of John today that the good shepherd not only gives his or her all to save the sheep of the fold, but also to gather up the sheep that do not belong to the fold, so there will be one flock, and that all will be saved.
The service began and ended with Native American music of flute and drums.
The Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry was elected by the House of Bishops on the first ballot, with 121 votes out of 174. This the vote tally:
Breidenthal – 19
Curry – 121
Douglas – 13
Smith – 21
A deputation from the House of Bishops, the Rt. Revs. Wayne Wright and Todd Ousley, brought word of the election to the House of Deputies, but the name was not announced.
Committee 19 for Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop then stepped forward and the Chaplain prayed for them; they left to deliberate on their recommendation to the House about whether to confirm or reject the House of Bishops’ election.
When the committee left the room, it was suggested by the Secretary that the House take a break so people could eat, but this was vehemently rejected by the deputies. They were determined to wait and stay in session until the committee came back with its decision.
When the committee returned, they made a motion to approve resolution A153 to confirm the House of Bishops’ election of Curry as Presiding Bishop.
The House of Deputies then voted on the motion, confirming Curry’s election with a vote of 800 to 12. When President of the House of Bishops Gay Jennings announced the results and banged the gavel, the House of Deputies was on its feet, singing and clapping.
The House of Deputies then sent word to the House of Bishops, informing them of their decision, and they brought Bishop Curry back, with his family and his deputation from North Carolina, to welcome him to the House of Deputies as the newly elected Presiding Bishop.
Bishop Curry is introduced to the House of Deputies
At 1:50 pm, The Rt. Rev. Wayne Wright and the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley brought word from the House of Bishops:
“On behalf of the House of Bishops, we bring you greetings and announce that we have elected, by majority vote, the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.”
The President of the House of Deputies then called for Committee 19, Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop, to come forward, with Chaplain Lester McKenzie offering prayer for the committee as they deliberate about whether to confirm the election or not.
The name of the person elected by the House of Bishops will not be announced until after the committee for the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop has reached a decision whether or not to confirm that election.
Click here for a live stream of the House of Deputies, which is in session still until the committee returns with a decision.
Up early to head over to a Church Pension Fund Committee meeting, worship then off to St. Mark’s to join with my sisters and brothers to elect the next PB of the Episcopal Church. Have been praying for the nominees, and I have confidence we will elect the person God will lead. Continue to pray for us…Had a wonderful dinner with the Northwest Deputation and our group from Fort Worth.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth's Deputation to Episcopal General Convention