Friday, May 25, 2018

Bishop Michael Curry: How I Wrote the Royal Wedding Sermon — and Why I Went Off Script

From Time-

Preaching at the royal wedding was a blessing for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, I hope. But more importantly, it was a blessing for all of us. It’s amazing that so many people watched it, that the love between Harry and Meghan brought together people, cultures and countries.

I invoked the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. during my sermon because that is what Dr. King was talking about — that even if it was just for a few moments, the royal wedding forced people to cross the lines they draw around themselves. They crossed class lines. They crossed political divisions. Everyone there who heard those words felt it. That day, everybody was so excited inside St. George’s Chapel. We could all see that this couple was in love with each other. It was obvious — it kind of put a smile on everybody’s face. Dr. King’s words are meant for all of us, prince or pauper. The rediscovery of the power of love really does change the world and change our lives.


More here-

http://time.com/5288994/michael-curry-royal-wedding-sermon/

Fresh off royal sermon, bishop warns 'somebody woke up Jim Crow'

From CNN-

Less than a week after his star-making sermon at the British royal wedding, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry set his sights on American politics, leading a church service to lament what he and other Christian leaders call "a dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership."

"It's like somebody woke up Jim Crow," Curry told CNN in an interview before the Thursday evening service, "and said let's not just segregate Americans over race, let's separate people along religious and political and class lines, too."


Thursday's service, a candlelight vigil that followed at the White House and a statement by Christian leaders are intended to dig beneath those divisions and remind Christians of Jesus' core values, Curry said.


"To help Christian people, people of goodwill, to find their voice, to reclaim and renew the faith that Jesus has given us, and to find a way to live that faith both in our personal lives and in the public square."


More here-

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/24/politics/curry-white-house-vigil/index.html

Bishop from royal wedding marches to White House

From The Hill-

The Episcopal reverend that recently drew worldwide attention for speaking at a royal wedding in Great Britain spoke in Washington, D.C., on Thursday at a vigil demonstrating against President Trump’s “America First” polices.

However, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said the gathering “is not a protest, it is a procession.”

“Love Republican neighbor, love your Democrat neighbor, love your black neighbor, love your white neighbor,” he told attendees at the “Reclaiming Jesus” event at the National City Church in Washington, D.C.


“We are not a partisan group. We are not a left wing group. We are not a right wing group. We are a Jesus group," he continued.

“We came together liberal, conservative and whatever is in the middle,” he said.

More here-

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/389308-bishop-from-royal-wedding-marches-to-white-house

A Royal Wedding with A Royal Message; Episcopal Church Bishop brought church to the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

From The LA Times-

It would’ve been impossible to steal a scene from one of the most anticipated Royal Weddings in history but The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church managed to do it. The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now Duchess of Sussex, offered many pleasant surprises from Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir to cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason but Presiding Bishop Curry captivated the world with a moving sermon on God, race and love. So the question is, who is Presiding Bishop Curry?

Learning more about Presiding Bishop Curry brings light to his stirring sermon which touched on slavery as he is descendant of enslaved Africans brought to North America through the trans-Atlantic slave routes. Presiding Bishop Curry was born in Chicago, IL, on March 13, 1953. His father was an Episcopal priest and his mother was a devout Episcopalian. After his mother’s death, Presiding Bishop Curry, along with his sister, were raised by his father and his grandmother. He grew up in a household that held fast to its Christian beliefs.



More here-


http://www.lawattstimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4889&catid=21&Itemid=114

The royal wedding made Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry a superstar. Can the religious left translate that into political change?

From The Washington Post-

Jane Dealy was one of 1,000 progressive Christians standing in front of the White House Thursday night, all holding tiny candles and saying “Jesus” in unison in the direction of America’s seat of power. Dealy had wanted for weeks to attend the vigil, but only felt confident to say yes last weekend, when she heard a certain wedding sermon.

Along with the rest of the world, Dealy heard the sermon Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry gave at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a passionate, positive, Jesus-filled homily about love as a healing balm for the world.

“That was it!” Dealy, 78, beamed from the White House plaza, after the vigil, “I said, ‘I’m going down there!’ ” Her primary concern is the prejudice stirred up in the United States in the last couple years, “and Bishop Curry can change people’s hearts. He’s done more for Christianity [with the wedding sermon] than anyone I can remember.”


More here-

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2018/05/25/the-royal-wedding-made-episcopal-bishop-michael-curry-a-superstar-can-the-religious-left-translate-that-into-political-change/?utm_term=.64a76c4379d7

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Will the Church’s division over women clergy re-ignite?

From The Spectator-

Now that London has a female bishop, you might assume that the whole saga is over: surely the liberals have effectively won? Well, yes and no: because the traditionalist rump that opposes women’s ordination is still officially affirmed as authentically Anglican, and has its own episcopal structure, the liberals’ victories have a hollow feel. Of course liberals have grumbled about this odd situation since its origin in 1992. But charitable rhetoric about co-existence has kept such grumbling in check. Might this now change?

You might wonder how this rump has survived, and found new recruits. What is its appeal? It’s hard enough for a vicar to keep a congregation going: why tie one hand behind your back in this way? Well, you could say some clergy like the constraint. Or rather, there are still plenty of young men who are energised by the counter-cultural aura of this movement, who see the sacred mystique of priesthood magnified by this form of defiant otherness, who feel spiritually distinct from jolly down-to-earth females like Kate Bottley of Gogglebox. To a certain mindset, an embattled form of religion, condemned by mainstream culture, feels holier. And more adventurous: it makes a small congregation feel like a brave band of defiant disciples, rather than another disappointing turn-out.


More here-

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/05/will-the-churchs-division-over-women-clergy-re-ignite/

The Wrath of God Poured Out — The Humiliation of the Southern Baptist Convention

From Albert Mohler-

The last few weeks have been excruciating for the Southern Baptist Convention and for the larger evangelical movement. It is as if bombs are dropping and God alone knows how many will fall and where they will land.

America’s largest evangelical denomination has been in the headlines day after day. The SBC is in the midst of its own horrifying #MeToo moment.

At one of our seminaries, controversy has centered on a president (now former president) whose sermon illustration from years ago included advice that a battered wife remain in the home and the marriage in hope of the conversion of her abusive husband. Other comments represented the objectification of a teenage girl. The issues only grew more urgent with the sense that the dated statements represented ongoing advice and counsel.

But the issues are far deeper and wider.

More here-

https://albertmohler.com/2018/05/23/wrath-god-poured-humiliation-southern-baptist-convention/?utm_content=buffer594fa&utm_medium=social&utm_source=sbtsfb&utm_campaign=buffer

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Time for a President’s Salary?

From The Living Church-

For the fourth time in two decades, General Convention will include a faceoff between bishops and deputies about whether the church should pay a salary to the president of the House of Deputies (or PHoD), which has always been a volunteer position.

In 1997, 2000, and 2015, the House of Deputies passed resolutions calling for compensation for the president. Each time, the House of Bishops voted no, thereby killing the proposals.

Early indications are that the same thing may very well happen again.

There’s more at stake than just one person’s paycheck. The dispute touches on issues going to the heart of the Episcopal Church’s polity and its bicameral governing body.

The two houses look at the issue through very different filters. The deputies see it as a fairness issue, while the bishops believe it’s important to protect the authority of the episcopacy in the Episcopal Church.

More here-

https://livingchurch.org/2018/05/23/time-for-a-presidents-salary/?platform=hootsuite

A HOMILY TO REMEMBER

From First Things-

Surveying a throng of English royalty, political officials, visiting dignitaries, beautified guests, and various celebrities and other friends, the preacher stepped up to the lectern to deliver his wedding homily. Streamed by 72 million outlets, seen in more than 180 countries, the sermon’s broadcast was estimated by some media analysts to have reached nearly two billion people.

And soon thereafter it was forgotten. The preacher was the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, and the wedding at which he delivered his seven-minute homily was that of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton in 2011. Today, my guess is that outside of Anglican circles and the environs of London, very few people recall Chartres’s name, despite the fact that he retired from his long and influential bishopric only last year. Only a few more, perhaps, recall what he said at William and Kate’s nuptials.

Contrast that with what happened on Saturday at Windsor Castle. Not much was different as far as the details of the occasion go—the preacher, like Chartres before him, surveyed his congregation, gave an equally meaty sermon (albeit nearly twice as long, bucking the Anglican stereotype), and was seen doing so by close to two billion souls.


More here-

https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2018/05/a-homily-to-remember

Emergency appeal launched by overwhelmed Anglican hospital in Gaza City

From ACNS-

The Anglican Diocese in Jerusalem has launched an emergency appeal for funds to support its al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. The Anglican-run hospital has been overwhelmed by the number of casualties sustained during protests across the Gaza strip this month.

“Our Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza had been literally working around the clock to serve the wounded from the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip ever since the United States formally opened its Embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May 14,” Archbishop Suheil Dawani, the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem and Primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, said. “The wounded coming to our hospital have no money, but no one is ever turned away. Most of the men, women, and children who are treated at [the hospital] have been injured from live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas intoxication.

“I appeal to all our friends around the world to give generously to this humanitarian crisis, as we, the Church, the hands of Jesus in this place, respond to this tragedy in love and compassion to the wounded.”


More here-

http://www.anglicannews.org/news/2018/05/emergency-appeal-launched-by-overwhelmed-anglican-hospital-in-gaza-city.aspx

Bishop whose sermon lit up royal wedding to lead White House protest

From CNN-

Fresh off his star-making sermon at the British royal wedding on Saturday, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry plans to take part in a candlelight vigil and protest in front of the White House on Thursday.

Curry will be joined by leaders from Christian churches who say they are concerned about a "dangerous crisis of moral and political leadership at the highest levels of our government and in our churches." Those crises, Curry and the other Christian leaders say, put "the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith" at stake.


Organizers say they expect 1,000 people to turn out for a church service before the protest and for the protest itself, to be held on Thursday evening in Lafayette Square, a park across the street from the White House.


"This weekend I spoke about the way of love. As elders, we view bringing the Reclaiming Jesus declaration to the public square as a tangible example of how to live out that way of love," Curry said, referring to a statement, called "Reclaiming Jesus," endorsed by progressive Christian leaders who lament the rise of political partisanship and the marginalization of vulnerable communities. 


More here-

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/22/politics/bishop-curry-white-house/

‘The blackest moment in global pop culture since Obama’s election night’

From The Washington Post-

In a world where everything is breaking news and everyone has a hot take, I’ve lately insisted on taking a step back to consider what’s going on and what it means. So, it wasn’t until Monday night that I sat down and watched Britain’s Prince Harry marry American actress Meghan Markle. Wow!

Truth be told, I slept through Saturday’s royal nuptials. But my Twitter feed and text messages were filled with awe. Not just the expected gushing over a royal wedding. But also of the unexpected symbolism of this modern-day fairy tale. “OMG, you missed maybe the blackest moment in global pop culture since Obama’s election night,” a dear white friend texted me Sunday morning. He didn’t lie.

I was struck by two things as I watched the ceremony. First, the melding of African American culture with British tradition made me incredibly proud of who we are. Proud as an American, and an African American in particular. While watching the stirring sermon by Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, I was moved to tweet that his booming “voice woke the ghosts in that chapel!” Surely the British had never heard anything so loud, so vibrant, in a church. Black preachers are gloriously and willfully ignorant of the constraint of time, so for African Americans, at 13 minutes, Curry’s was a sermonette. With a message of love and redemption, mentions of Martin Luther King Jr. and slavery, the first African American leader of the Episcopal Church knit the British and their American cousins together in a cloak of commonality and shared destiny. He spoke matter-of-factly and without apology, as was befitting such a joyous occasion.


More here-

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2018/05/22/the-blackest-moment-in-global-pop-culture-since-obamas-election-night/?utm_term=.d39cb2101300

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

That Time I Was Right

From An Inch At A Time-

When it was announced that the preacher for the Meghan Markle/Prince Harry wedding would be our own Presiding Bishop Michael Curry I wrote that this was (and I quote:)
"... a moment of evangelism and an opportunity to proclaim the Good News of an inclusive church and the expansive love of God to a world in desperate need of it. And there is nobody better for the job that Michael Bruce Curry — child of God, preacher of the Gospel and Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church."
The piece -- "Reflections on Evangelism, Inclusion & the Royal Wedding" -- drew the attention of the Religion News Service and garnered this quote in their May 17th post on the upcoming wedding:
Episcopalians are hopeful they can capitalize on all the attention paid this weekend to Anglican ritual and spirituality. If all goes well, Curry might be their ticket to framing the church in a fresh light. “For those who know enough about Christians not to want to be one,” Russell said, the wedding brings a chance “to hear someone who gives a message of justice and compassion.”
And boy howdy was I right about this one! 


More here-


https://inchatatime.blogspot.com/2018/05/that-time-i-was-right.html

George Councell, 11th Episcopal bishop of New Jersey, dies at 68

From Princeton-

George Edward Councell, the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, died Monday evening. He was 68.

He was transferred to hospice care at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Hamilton in the afternoon and died at about 6 p.m., surrounded by famil
y and friends, New Jersey Bishop William Stokes wrote in an email announcing Councell’s death.

Councell retired as bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey in the fall of 2013, five years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. After his diagnosis, he was determined not to let the disease hold him back, and he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2008.

He was elected bishop of the diocese on May 3, 2003, and consecrated on October 18, 2003, at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton. He was known as a gentle spirit who helped stabilize the Diocese of New Jersey, the eighth largest diocese in the Episcopal Church, after a period of turmoil during a previous bishop’s tenure. He was also a supporter of gay rights in the church and gay marriage.

More here-

https://planetprinceton.com/2018/05/21/george-councell-11th-episcopal-bishop-of-new-jersey-dies-at-68/

Tony Norman: OK, so now I’m cool with royal weddings

From Pittsburgh-

The next sign that theirs was a blacker-than-usual wedding at St. George’s Chapel was the presence of the Most Rev. Michael Curry of Chicago, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Like any black preacher worth his or her salt, Bishop Curry took his time delivering the kind of sermon about the redemptive power of love the uptight Windsors had never heard before from their very Anglican pulpit.

Bishop Curry engaged in enough mild histrionics to make the reaction shots of the white British aristocracy utterly priceless. Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla, leaned over to him as if to say, “What’s happening, Charles?” One middle-aged duchess sat with her mouth agape, wondering how hundreds of years of careful inbreeding had led to this moment.

When I got married three decades ago, we had a black preacher from Chicago officiating at our wedding, too, but I assure you, our wedding wasn’t as “black” as Harry and Meghan’s.

More here-

www.post-gazette.com/opinion/tony-norman/2018/05/22/OK-so-now-I-m-cool-with-royal-weddings/stories/201805220036

A Black Bishop Brings a Political Message to the Royal Wedding

From The Atlantic-

Maybe it was the gospel choir singing “Stand by Me.” Perhaps it was the fiery sermon on the power of love. Price Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on Saturday had a distinctively black-church flavor to it. And the joyful avatar of this quality was Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding head of the Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican communion along with the Church of England. His address to the room full of royals and celebrities at Windsor Castle was subtly political, calling for an end to poverty and war and citing American slavery and Martin Luther King Jr.

All of this made for a pointed celebration of Britain’s new biracial duchess—a powerful counterpoint to the wealth and hierarchy at the heart of the British throne. As Reverend Renee McKenzie, the vicar and chaplain of an Episcopal church in Philadelphia, told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “It’s taking a hammer into the basement of the master and slowly destroying the house brick by brick.”

Curry has a history of political activism in the United States. When he was the Episcopal bishop of North Carolina, he supported the Moral Monday movement, a weekly gathering in front of the statehouse in protest of economically and racially discriminatory policies. Reverend William Barber, the pastor who led that movement, called Curry “a good friend” during an interview with MSNBC on Sunday. “Bishop Curry and others in our movement are lifting up what the word”—the Bible—“really says about the poor,” Barber said.


https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/05/bishop-michael-curry-black-church-royal-wedding/560798/

What’s So Good About Original Sin?

From The New York Times-

The doctrine of original sin has often been held to be intolerably dark, a counsel of despair. It says we are by nature morally flawed, that we are born in error and live in it irremediably, that each of us deserves punishment and will receive it, unless redeemed by God’s arbitrary grace. It insists that we cannot cure ourselves by our own efforts, and it has led some people to make extraordinarily disturbing claims, such as that children who die in infancy could burn in eternal hellfire.

It’s hard to argue with the fact that inherent depravity is a profoundly pessimistic idea, and one with potentially bad effects. A rejection of the idea of original sin might argue that if we believe we can be good and do good by our own efforts, we are likelier to strive to do so. If we believe we are intrinsically evil, it follows, we will cease trying to make ourselves or the world better. Why not, then, think more positively about ourselves and believe in the possibility of human goodness and our potential for improvement right here in this world?

It would take a book or a shelf of them to examine original sin as a theological doctrine, going back to Augustine’s interpretation of Adam and Eve. Even so, it is not clear that the preachers of original sin have managed to explain why a benevolent God would create such profoundly flawed creatures as they believe us to be. And if you don’t believe in God at all, or not in that sort of God, the whole line of argument is moot.

Despite all of that, I would like to entertain the notion that a secularized conception of original sin is plausible, and that believing it might have good effects. In short, perhaps it’s time for a new Puritanism, though with fewer witch trials this time around.

More here-

Clergy robes made entirely from recycled plastic bottles go on sale

From The Church Times-

CASSOCKS and tippets (scarves) made entirely from recycled plastic bottles have gone on sale for the first time, in response to the growing movement away from single-use plastics.

The clerical-wear company Butler & Butler has sourced a fabric made from melted-down plastic bottles, which is formed into threads and then woven into cassocks and scarves.

The end result is a “really soft fabric which is much nicer than reg­ular polyester”, its director, the Revd Simon Butler, said.

Forty recycled bottles are used to make each cassock. The plastic cassocks cost £189, and scarves, £45.

The company began looking for a recycled plastic fabric when stories of pollution caused by plastics began hitting the headlines.

Their range of clerical wear previously included Fairtrade pure-cotton shirts, as well as poly-cotton, which is partially derived from plastics.

“We began asking: is there some­­where that recycles plastics, which we can use? We eventually found a company in India which provides us with a recycled plastic fabric. It is more expensive for us to buy because of the extra process, but it produces a really nice fabric.

More here-

 https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/18-may/news/uk/clergy-robes-made-entirely-from-recycled-plastic-bottles-go-on-sale

Royal wedding gets a little Black Girl Magic and a true black sermon

From Detroit-

I booked my ticket to London as soon as the date for the royal wedding was announced. I booked my room at the Marble Arch Marriott, and I began planning what to wear — if you’re standing along a street waiting to see a horse-drawn carriage bearing the sexier of the two Little Princes of Windsor and England's first African American princess.

Some people here in the U.S. tend to fight that title — African American — because of the growing need to disappear the word African from the American lexicon. But like President Barack Obama, Meghan Markle is both black and white, traditional and contemporary, beautiful and smart.

Two weeks before the big day, I cancelled the trip, realizing the impracticality of flying 3,700 miles and spending two mortgage payments to stand in the sun, waiting on a horse named Tyrone.
But as the wedding unfolded, I instantly regretted not being there.

While watching every nuance of a royal wedding that became a black church service, hearing every word Bishop Michael Bruce Curry preached in a universal sermon that might have once stopped a revolutionary war or civil war, I regretted it most.

The wedding became a where-were-you-when moment. The 65-year-old Curry, the first African American elected presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, who preached here in metro Detroit a few years ago, didn’t offer a tepid homily. He preached a hot sermon, one that, if you're a black person in America, you might have heard in your own church.

More here-

Monday, May 21, 2018

Thanks, Meghan Markle, We Needed That

From The New York Times-

We went to church on Saturday, all of us, and caught the Meghan and Harry spirit.

This American girl tried to avoid it as best she could. Yes, I’m biracial like Meghan Markle, black like Meghan Markle, but I told myself I would watch a couple minutes of the royal hoopla — catch a glimpse of that dress, maybe — and then carry on.

But in the end I couldn’t help but get swept away.

Maybe it was the familiar sounds of the gospel choir, as Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” rang out across St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, and soothed me like an American lullaby.

Maybe it was the Most Rev. Michael Curry’s sermon about the power of love, invoking the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. no less, as his booming cadence washed over the British church, leaving some of the royal guests looking as if they might faint in their pews.

Heck, maybe it was Oprah. She was there, seated not far from the tennis star Serena Williams.


More here-

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/20/opinion/meghan-markle-royal-wedding-race.html

Bishop Curry's Royal Wedding Sermon Was Wholly Un-British, Amazing, and Necessary

From Esquire-

We did not expect to be taken to church. 

But I’ll be damned if The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first African-American Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, didn’t take us right there. His sermon quoted liberally from both St. Paul and Martin Luther King, Jr., and centered around the redemptive qualities of simple, selfless love. The love between Harry and Meghan (“Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up”), the love Jesus had for the world (“He didn't sacrifice his life for himself, He did it for the good and wellbeing of others. That's love”), and the power of unselfish love to transform the world (“When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields.”) 

It was a shot of adrenaline directly to your feels: “There is power in love,” Bishop Curry said, “If you doubt it, think back to when you first fell in love.” It was a call to action: “Love God, love your neighbor, and while you’re at it, love yourself.” It quoted African-American spirituals, and equated love with the fire that powers automobiles and airplanes. It was a doozy. 

But it wasn’t the content so much as the delivery, because Bishop Curry for sure brought the fire. It was such a passionate, animated, wholly American performance, that it felt deliciously, bracingly incongruous. Watch it below. 

more here-


Michael Curry’s royal wedding sermon will go down in history

From The Guardian-

The candle flames were trembling. The pulpit was on fire. The bride and groom were waiting. As were the Queen, Oprah, Idris Elba, and Doria Ragland, now the world’s most famous yoga teacher. Just before he got on to the subject of fire, Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American leader of the US Episcopal church, promised the happy couple, “and with this I’ll sit down, we got to get y’all married”. But there’s a lot to say about the French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his relevance to modern technology and the concept of love and how this relates to Martin Luther King, so he went on for another three minutes.

Curry’s sermon was one of three moments during the royal wedding when I felt moved. I had not expected to be moved. I had expected to remain full of cold indignation at the pomp and aristocratic indulgence of the day, at the preparatory shooing of the homeless off the streets of Windsor by police officers who should be tending to more important things like knife crime, at the £32m shamelessly spent amid the rising presence of foodbanks and child poverty. The first of these moments was Ragland arriving at the chapel, a black woman quietly alone, being assisted from her car by a representative of an institution that had partaken in her oppression and was now required to respect her. The other was the Kingdom Choir’s beautiful rendition of Stand By Me, in part because it followed the sermon.

More here-

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/20/bishop-michael-curry-sermon-history-harry-meghan-wedding?CMP=share_btn_fb

Why Bishop Curry’s Royal Wedding Message is a Game Changer

From Medium-

Y’all, I’m tired of the headlines. I’m worn down by the tragedies and the lies. I’m socially isolated in the real world while I’m smiling all over the place in the virtual one. I’m cynical about displays of wealth and pomp and circumstance on a planet so topsy-turvy with inequality. Every day, I wring my hands and yearn endlessly––for peace, healing, and connection.

But I watched a video of the Royal Wedding just now, and I’ve got to tell you, I heard the Good News today.

Before I explain why Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at the wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry to American actress Meghan Markle holds the key to creating positive change around the globe, I want you to understand where I’m coming from.

During our lifetimes in America, religion has often been often used as a tool of division and hate. I grew up as an Episcopalian in a smallish Southern U.S. city, and although my childhood was idyllic in many ways, outside of my own church and inner circle I witnessed how religion was being used to manipulate and separate people based on fear and judgment rather than acceptance and love.

More here-

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Bishop says royal wedding ‘wove together many different worlds’

From PBS-




In a striking break with English tradition, the first black leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church delivered a passionate sermon at the royal wedding on Saturday, where he referenced Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s beliefs on the "redemptive power of love.” To some, the speech was as significant as the matrimony itself. Alison Stewart talked to Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry about converging cultures.

Read the Full Transcript

  • ALISON STEWART:
    Joining me now via Skype from the United Kingdom is the most Reverend Michael Curry. Reverend thanks for being with us.
  • MOST REV. MICHAEL BRUCE CURRY:
    Sure glad to be with you.
  • ALISON STEWART:
    Your message to this couple today was about the power of love. But there was definitely a message for the rest of the world as well. What do you hope we all take away from today’s ceremony?
  • MOST REV. MICHAEL BRUCE CURRY:
    Well you know I really do hope and pray that that that this day can be a day of renewal for all of us. There was a couple who are deeply in love with each other and you could feel and see their love on their faces and it’s real. And and they chose the text that I used from the Song of Solomon. And it’s just interesting that it comes from a part in that Song of Solomon or Song of Songs is really a low poem found in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament and so that text actually became the springboard for recognizing that the love between Harry and Meghan between this couple actually was tapping into a greater love that isn’t a matter of sentimentality but actually as a way of life that can change lives and that can change social structures and can change the world in the way in which we live.

    More here-

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/bishop-says-royal-wedding-wove-together-many-different-worlds

Newark Episcopal Diocese votes in Morristown to elect first black bishop

From New Jersey-

Some history was made Saturday at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morristown, where members of the Diocese of Newark elected the Rev. Carlye J. Hughes as their next bishop.

Hughes, 59, is the first African American, and the first woman, to serve in that role. She will succeed retiring Bishop Mark Beckwith in September.

The matter was decided on the first ballot, with Hughes garnering 62 of 116 clergy votes and 141 of 241 lay votes, according to the Diocese.

The other nominees were the Rev. Lisa W. Hunt, rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Houston, and the Rev. Canon Scott G. Slater, from the Diocese of Maryland.


More here-

https://morristowngreen.com/2018/05/19/newark-episcopal-diocese-votes-in-morristown-to-elect-first-black-bishop/

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Bishop Curry's Royal Wedding Sermon Was Wholly Un-British, Amazing, and Necessary

From Esquire-

We did not expect to be taken to church. 

But I’ll be damned if The Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first African-American Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, didn’t take us right there. His sermon quoted liberally from both St. Paul and Martin Luther King, Jr., and centered around the redemptive qualities of simple, selfless love. 

The love between Harry and Meghan (“Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up”), the love Jesus had for the world (“He didn't sacrifice his life for himself, He did it for the good and wellbeing of others. That's love”), and the power of unselfish love to transform the world (“When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields.”) 

It was a shot of adrenaline directly to your feels: “There is power in love,” Bishop Curry said, “If you doubt it, think back to when you first fell in love.” It was a call to action: “Love God, love your neighbor, and while you’re at it, love yourself.” It quoted African-American spirituals, and equated love with the fire that powers automobiles and airplanes. It was a doozy.  

More here-

Royal wedding preacher: Who is Michael Curry?

From The BBC-

American Bishop Michael Curry has captured the world's attention with a long and powerful address at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The Chicago-born bishop spoke passionately about the power of love, quoting Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
"There's power in love, don't underestimate it," he said. The wide-ranging and colourful speech was seen as a significant break from tradition.


The Most Reverend Michael Curry became the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church - like the Church of England, part of the Anglican Communion - when he was appointed in 2015.
He has spoken out on social justice issues in the past, including LGBT rights and sexual abuse.


The address, replete with historical references, had churchgoers, including David Beckham and the Duchess of Cornwall smiling. Others appeared transfixed.

The bride and groom, who invited Bishop Curry to speak, sat near the preacher and held hands as they watched him speak.


More here-

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44180777

The Internet Is Raving Over Bishop Michael Curry's Royal Wedding Sermon

From Time-


Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may have been the stars of the royal wedding, but Bishop Michael Curry of Chicago was definitely a strong runner-up.

Just before a stirring performance of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” by Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir, the Most Reverend Michael Curry delivered a rousing sermon that both began and ended with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As Harry and Meghan sat nearby holding hands, Curry—who was appointed the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in 2015—gave an address centered on “The Power of Love.”

Many watching were quick to tweet about his inspiring words.

That’s Fire

Some viewers latched onto Curry’s enthusiastic catchphrase of “That’s fire!” to praise the sermon.


More here-

http://time.com/5283974/royal-wedding-bishop-michael-curry-reactions/

Royal wedding: Reverend Bishop Michael Curry upstages Meghan Markle with impassioned sermon

From Australia-

From the outset, it was clear that this was not going to be a standard Church of England sermon, which tradition dictates should be delivered in the tone of a very shy person asking the way to the train station.

A copy of Bishop Curry's address was distributed in advance, but he immediately went off script, barely glancing at the tablet in front of him on which his prepared words blinked patiently.

He started with the Reverend Martin Luther King, then into an energetic reverie about love.

"Now the power of love is demonstrated by the fact that we are all here," he enthused, hands flying.

"Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up. But it's not just for and about a young couple who we rejoice with. It's more than that."

At this point, guests began to exchange glances.

Princess Beatrice (fresh from disappointing the gathered crowds by failing to wear a hat that looked as if she were attempting to establish contact with a distant galaxy) assumed an expression of goggle-eyed amusement.

More here-

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-20/royal-wedding-meghan-markle-upstaged-by-reverend-michael-curry/9779990


Episcopal bishop Curry gives royal wedding an American flair

From Baltimore-

Nothing quite captured the trans-Atlantic nature of Saturday's royal wedding as much as the guest preacher whose sermon brought American flair to a very English church service.

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, the first black leader of the Episcopal Church in the United States, was hand-picked by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to address their 600 wedding guests.

The bishop's sermon on the theme of love, delivered with energy and studded with quotes from the bible, Martin Luther King Jr. and African-American spirituals, was a contrast to the more solemn Anglican style the royal family is used to.

Quoting civil rights icon King on the "redemptive power of love," Curry told the bride and groom "it's not just for, and about, a young couple who we rejoice with, it's more than that."

Many observers were surprised and delighted. BBC broadcaster Jeremy Vine tweeted: "The preacher is doing 50 in a 30 zone and it's brilliant."


More here

http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/sns-bc-eu--britain-royal-wedding-service-20180519-story.html