The American Episcopal Church Enters a New Era

The American Episcopal Church Enters a New Era November 2, 2015

Michael Curry

Like many friends of the American Episcopal Church (I like to say if it weren’t for that little nagging thing about having to believe in a god…) I’m enchanted with the election, and as of yesterday of the installation of their new Presiding Bishop and Primate, the 27th from the establishment of the American church.

That bishop, Michael Curry tells a story about a young African American couple visiting an Episcopal church in the American south in the 1940s. The husband is a Baptist seminarian. The wife is a birthright Episcopalian. When it comes time for communion the seminarian notices there is a single chalice to be shared among the communicants. When his wife steps forward, he knows what is going to happen in a white Southern church. But instead the priest never hesitates and presents her with the cup. The seminarian would eventually cross over and become an Episcopal priest himself.

The Most Reverend Michael Curry’s parents.

He is jubilantly Christian, and equally committed to the works of justice.

The church has suffered some battering in recent decades as their leadership has staked out a place as what some have called the “religious left.” The dust has near settled, they’ve lost maybe twenty percent of their membership who have found more congenial communions. And now they seem poised for something. And this might just be that something.

My wish. May this be a new day for those good and lovely people who gather as the American Episcopal Church.

And for all of the Christian community who wish to reconcile reason and justice with their faith.

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