Reflecting on General Convention

CURRY
The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Photo Credit: Brian Baker

I am still processing… and quite frankly, still recovering from our recent General Convention.

A couple of observations from my perspective:

First, I have been a part of General Convention since the early 80s and I could not be more hopeful for the future of the Episcopal Church.

Second, your deputies served you very well. ECMN should be both proud and grateful for not only their hard work, but the intentionality and integrity they brought to that work.

Third, I feel incredibly blessed to serve you in the House of Bishops. The level of collegiality and respect, particularly during challenging conversations, was nothing short of Holy.

Finally, we have been working hard to engage God’s mission across the varied cultures and contexts that make up ECMN. It is clear that this same Spirit is spreading across the Episcopal Church. Over and over again I witnessed the consistent message that we are all called to engage God’s mission by using our gifts to meet the world’s needs in our neighborhoods.

Clear witnesses and examples rang true in the sermons by the Presiding Bishop and the Presiding Bishop-Elect.

“Mother Church will continue rising from the dead if we keep crossing into new territories, in our back yards, prisons, city parks, and pockets of despair, here and across the globe. If we believe, if we’re faithful, we know that the ancient truth remains, and resurrection is always emerging from death. That healing may cost plenty of blood, sweat, and tears – but it is rooted in the firm belief that God does enlighten, heal, and deliver.

Pay no attention to the finger-wagging. Turn around and look for the hem of Jesus’ robe. Go searching in new territory. Reach out and touch what is clothing the image of God. Give your heart to that search and you will not only find healing but become healing. Share what you find and you will discover the abundant life for which all God’s children have been created.  And indeed, the Lord will turn weeping into dancing.”

-The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Click here to read the Presiding Bishop’s sermon in its entirety.

“This is what Jesus taught us to do.

God came among us in the person of Jesus to reconcile us with each other and in so doing to change the world. We’ve got a day of crisis before us in this country.

We’ve got a day of crisis before us in this global community.

We have enormous challenges before us as Church and followers of Jesus.

But as St. Paul said in Romans, “With God before us, who can be against us?”

Or as Bishop Barbara Harris said—

How do you like that, Paul and Barbara Harris?

As Bishop Barbara Harris said, “The God who is behind us is greater than any problem that is ahead of us.”

We are part of the Jesus Movement, and that movement cannot be stopped because we follow a Lord who defeated death and follow a Lord who lives.

We are part of the Jesus Movement, and he has summoned us to make disciples and followers of all nations and transform this world by the power of the Good News, the gospel of Jesus.

And look at us: We’re incredible!

Have you seen all the babies crawling around this convention? They’re all over the place!

Some of us are babies!

Some of us are children. The children are right here. You can’t see them—

Hey, guys! Hey!—They’re waving—How are you?

Some of us are children!

Some of us are young people. They’ve been here.

Some of us are young adults, and they’ve been here, and they’re gonna change the world!

Some of us have got AARP cards.

I do!

And some of us—help me, Jesus—some of us are Republicans. And some of us are Democrats.

But if you’ve been baptized into the Triune God, you are a disciple of Jesus, and we are all in the Jesus Movement.

What God has brought together, let no one tear asunder.

Some of us are labelled traditionalists—Help me, Jesus!

Ready? And some of us are labelled progressive.

I don’t care whether your label is traditionalist or progressive, if you’ve been baptized into the Triune God, you’re in the Jesus Movement.

See, we are all different. Some of us are black and some of us are white, some of us are brown.

But I like that old song that said:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow black and white,
They are precious in his sight.
Jesus love the little children of the world.

I don’t care who you are, how the Lord has made you, what the world has to say about you, if you’ve been baptized into Jesus you’re in the Jesus Movement and you’re God’s.

Therein may be the Gospel message of hope for the world. There’s plenty of good room.

Plenty good room.

Plenty good room for all God’s children.”

-The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry

Click here to read the Presiding Bishop-Elect’s sermon in its entirety.

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