What's Happening at Calvary

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/first-black-episcopal-church-leader-will-continue-his-fathers-teachings/2015/10/14/bede82e2-72b2-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html http://www.episcopalchurchsc.org/lent-2016.html https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/episcopal-church-installs-its-first-african-american-bishop/2015/11/01/d9b7c44c-80d2-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.htmlhttps://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/episcopal-church-installs-its-first-african-american-bishop/2015/11/01/d9b7c44c-80d2-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.html

Church Announcements

posted Dec 10, 2016, 12:55 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 8, 2017, 6:37 PM ]







  • 170th Anniversary Church Directory
Be a part of our 170th Anniversary Church Directory.  Members and Friends can sign up for a portrait sitting by e-mailing me or by registering for an appointment online at https://booknow-lifetouch.a ppointment-plus.com/y0sj6mxy/ .   Members and friends who are not available to sit for a portrait on May 30th or May 31st (2:00 pm-9:00 pm) may schedule a sitting at another location--please let me know if you cannot make either date.  All participants will receive a complimentary 8 x 10 portrait, $10.00 off any portrait purchases, + $5.00 off if you bring in a canned good.  Seniors receive a 20% discount off purchases.  All members who participate will receive a directory.  Portrait pricing information is attached to this e-mail.  Please come and be a part of the directory.  There is no obligation to purchase portraits.  Let me know if you have any questions. 

You will be receiving more information in the near future about our upcoming 170th Anniversary Celebration in September.  It will be our most memorable one yet! 

God bless!    
ALESIA RICO FLORES
Chair, Anniversary Committee

  • Trip to the National Museum of African American History
The Gatherers are planning a trip to the National Museum of African American History from August 27 - 30, 2017.  The group will travel by train to Washington DC and visit the Museum.  Use the "Contact Us" form on this website if you're interested in attending.


Calvary's 170th Anniversary News

posted Jul 4, 2016, 6:42 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 25, 2017, 11:27 AM ]


Countdown to Anniversary Celebration


The founding of Calvary Church in 1847 was to establish a special church for enslaved persons in the Charleston community.
  This
id
ea paralleled the thoughts of many people that there was a need to evangelize them in the decades after 1820.  At the 58th Annual Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina in February 1847, Mr. Henry D. Lesesne, prominent attorney and chairman of the Vestry of St. Philip’s Church, introduced resolutions pointing to the religious instructions of Charleston’s slave population.  A committee chaired by Mr. Lesesne chose The Reverend Paul Trapier as the first minister of the proposed congregation to be known as Calvary Church.


Calvary's "Birth" dates: 
Organized:  September 2, 1847
Consecrated Original Church Building:  December 23, 1849
Consecrated Current Church Building:  1942



Calvary is preparing a new Church Directory as part of our Anniversary observance! 


Lifetouch will photograph members on
May 30th and May 31st
2:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Location:  Parish Hall, Calvary Church

Click here to register for an appointment online
 https://booknow-lifetouch.a ppointment-plus.com/y0sj6mxy/






Hello Calvary Episcopal Church Friends and Family, 

Members, we would like you to be a part of our 170th Anniversary Church Directory.  Members and Friends can sign up for a portrait sitting by e-mailing me or by registering for an appointment online at https://booknow-lifetouch.a ppointment-plus.com/y0sj6mxy/.   Members and friends who are not available to sit for a portrait on May 30th or May 31st (2:00 pm-9:00 pm) may schedule a sitting at another location--please let me know if you cannot make either date. 

All participants will receive a complimentary 8 x 10 portrait, $10.00 off any portrait purchases, + $5.00 off if you bring in a canned good.  Seniors receive a 20% discount off purchases.  All members who participate will receive a directory.  Portrait pricing information is attached to this e-mail.  Please come and be a part of the directory.  There is no obligation to purchase portraits.  Let me know if you have any questions.  You will be receiving more information in the near future about our upcoming 170th Anniversary Celebration in September.  It will be our most memorable one yet! 

God bless!
ALESIA RICO FLORES
Chair, Anniversary Committee
   


Inline image 3





--

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Easter 2017 Message

posted Jun 15, 2016, 4:07 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 1, 2017, 3:34 PM ]


2017 Easter Message


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's
Easter 2017 Message
“Go forth to be people of the Resurrection,” Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says in his Easter 2017 Message. “Follow in the way of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to love. Don’t be ashamed to follow Jesus.”

Want to read the message, or share it in your Easter service bulletins? The full text (including Spanish and French) can be found here.

Easter 2017 Message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:
“Go forth to be people of the Resurrection. Follow in the way of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to love. Don’t be ashamed to follow Jesus.”
April 3, 2017

“Go forth to be people of the Resurrection,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry said in his Easter 2017 Message. “Follow in the way of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to love. Don’t be ashamed to follow Jesus.”

The Festive day of Easter is Sunday, April 16.                                                            

The video is available here  

The following is the text of the Presiding Bishop’s Easter 2017 Message:
 

Easter 2017 Message

It’s taken me some years to realize it, but Jesus didn’t just happen to be in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. He wasn’t on vacation. He wasn’t just hanging out in town. Jesus was in Jerusalem on purpose. He arrived in Jerusalem about the time of the Passover when pilgrims were in the city. When people’s hopes and expectations for the dawn of freedom that Moses had promised in the first Passover might suddenly be realized for them in their time.

Jesus arranged his entrance into Jerusalem to send a message. He entered the city, having come in on one side of the city, the scholars tell us, at just about the same time that Pontius Pilate made his entrance on the exact opposite side of the city. Pilate, coming forth on a warhorse. Pilate, with soldiers around him. Pilate, with the insignias of Rome’s Empire. Pilate, representing the Caesars who claimed to be son of god. Pilate, who had conquered through Rome the people of Jerusalem. Pilate, representing the Empire that had taken away their freedom. Pilate, who represented the Empire that would maintain the colonial status of the Jewish people by brute force and violence.

Jesus entered the city on the other side, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey, recalling the words of Zechariah:

Behold your King comes to you

Triumphant and victorious is He

Humble and riding on a donkey

Jesus entered the city at the same time as Pilate to show them, and to show us, that God has another way. That violence is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality are not the way.

Jesus came to show us there is another way. The way of unselfish, sacrificial love. That’s why he entered Jerusalem. That’s why he went to the cross. It was the power of that love poured out from the throne of God, that even after the horror of the crucifixion would raise him from death to life.

God came among us in the person of Jesus to start a movement. A movement to change the face of the earth. A movement to change us who dwell upon the earth. A movement to change the creation from the nightmare that is often made of it into the dream that God intends for it.

He didn’t just happen to be in Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday. He went to Jerusalem for a reason. To send a message. That not even the titanic powers of death can stop the love of God.  On that Easter morning, he rose from the dead, and proclaimed love wins.

So you have a blessed Easter. Go forth to be people of the Resurrection. Follow in the way of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to love. Don’t be ashamed to follow Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter.  And bless the world.  Amen.

 

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

Ascension Day, Thursday, May 25, 2017

posted Jun 15, 2016, 2:30 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 15, 2017, 6:12 PM ]


Ascension Day

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Year (cycle):  A

The Collect: 

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

or this

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
Acts 1:1-11

1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Psalm: 
Psalm 47 or Psalm 93

1 Clap your hands, all you peoples; *
       shout to God with a cry of joy.
2 For the Lord Most High is to be feared; *
       he is the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdues the peoples under us, *
       and the nations under our feet.
4 He chooses our inheritance for us, *
       the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
5 God has gone up with a shout, *
       the Lord with the sound of the ram's-horn.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises; *
       sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is King of all the earth; *
       sing praises with all your skill.
8 God reigns over the nations; *
       God sits upon his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the peoples have gathered together *
       with the people of the God of Abraham.
10 The rulers of the earth belong to God, *
       and he is highly exalted.

or

Psalm 93

1 The Lord is King;
  he has put on splendid apparel; *
       the Lord has put on his apparel
       and girded himself with strength.
2 He has made the whole world so sure *
       that it cannot be moved;
3 Ever since the world began, your throne has been established; *
       you are from everlasting.
4 The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
  the waters have lifted up their voice; *
       the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
5 Mightier than the sound of many waters,
  mightier than the breakers of the sea, *
       mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.
6 Your testimonies are very sure, *
       and holiness adorns your house, O Lord,
       for ever and for evermore.

Epistle: 
Ephesians 1:15-23

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel: 
Luke 24:44-53

44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.


Daily Readings ...

posted May 23, 2016, 3:48 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 25, 2017, 10:44 AM ]


The daily readings expand the range of biblical reading in worship and personal devotion.  These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect on and digest what they heard in worship on Sunday; Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead.

Source:  http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/daily.php?year=C#id264







Sunday, May 21, 2017: Sixth Sunday of Easter

Preparation:





Sunday, May 28, 2017: Seventh Sunday of Easter

Reflection:

Preparation:



Reproduced from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts admin. Augsburg Fortress. Used by permission. A complete edition of the Daily Readings is available though Augsburg Fortress.

Rogation and Ascension

posted Mar 13, 2016, 11:55 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 15, 2017, 5:52 PM ]




Rogation and Ascension

The week of the Sixth Sunday of Easter is busy with processions and outdoor activities. The week begins with prayers and celebrations that focus on stewardship of creation and culminates in the great (but lately much-neglected) Feast of the Ascension of our Lord into heaven on the fortieth day of the Paschal Feast.


Rogation Days

The Rogation Days, the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Day, originated in Vienne, France (not Vienna, Austria), in 470 after a series of natural disasters had caused much suffering among the people. Archbishop Mamertus proclaimed a fast and ordered that special litanies and prayers be said as the population processed around their fields, asking God's protection and blessing on the crops that were just beginning to sprout. The Latin word rogare means "to ask", thus these were "rogation" processions. In an agricultural society, closely connected with the soil and highly vulnerable to the uncertainties of nature, this was an idea that took root quickly, and the custom spread around Europe and over to Britain. The Sunday before the Rogation Days came to be considered a part of Rogationtide (or "Rogantide") and was known as Rogation Sunday. The Gospel formerly appointed for that day was from John 16, where Jesus tells his disciples to ask, and ye shall receive.

While technically they were days of fasting, for which they were also known as "Grass Days," for the meatless meals that were enjoined, the Rogation Days developed into a popular festival, celebrating the arrival of spring and serving other purposes, as well. Other names for these days include "Gang Days," from the Anglo-Saxon gangen, "to go," and "Cross Days," both titles signifying the processions with crosses and banners around the countryside. In some parishes, the procession took more than one day and the whole business became an occasion for several days of picnics and revels of all sorts, particularly among those who trooped along at the fringes of the religious aspects of the procession.

The route of the walk was around the boundaries of the parish, which was a civil as well as a religious unit. Thus, the processions were useful in teaching people, particularly the young, their parish boundaries. Known as "beating the bounds," the processions customarily stopped at boundary marks and other significant landmarks of the parish, such as a venerable tree, or a great rock, or perhaps a pond. The priest would read the Gospel and perhaps affix a cross to the landmark. Then the boys of the parish would suffer some indignity intended to help them remember the spot. Boys were bumped about against rocks and trees, thrown into the water, held upside-down over fences, thrown into bramble patches, or beaten with willow wands--and then given a treat in compensation. In later times, the marchers beat the boundary marker with the willow wands, beating the bounds, rather than the boys.
 




Beating the bounds in Victorian London


 


Beating the bounds in Lambeth, 1961


 


Beating the bounds in Claverton, 1999

The reminder of boundaries had another important impact on communal life. In a poem by the 20th century American Robert Frost, the poet's neighbor asserts that "good fences make good neighbors." Boundaries are often very important in relationships. As members of parishes beat the bounds, they would often encounter obstructions and violations of boundaries. The annual beating of the bounds provided an opportunity to resolve boundary issues. It also led to the tradition of seeking reconciliation in personal relationships during Rogationtide. The sharing of a specially brewed ale, called Ganging Beer, and a mysterious pastry, called Rammalation Biscuits, at the end of the walk was a good way of sealing the reconciliation.

George Herbert gave the following good reasons to beat the bounds: 1) a blessing of God for the fruits of the field; 2) Justice in the preservation of the bounds; 3) Charitie, in living, walking and neighbourliy accompanying one another, with reconciling of differences at that time, if they be any; 4) Mercie, in relieving the poor by a liberal distribution of largess which at that time is or oght be made.

The custom of placing crosses on boundary markers and in the fields seems to derive from the fact that the Rogation Days fall near the old feast day of the Invention (or Finding) of the Cross. Crouchmas ("Cross-mass") was on May 3rd and it was the custom on that day to place crosses in fields and gardens as a way of blessing them and praying for them to be fruitful. While full Rogation processions are rare today, the blessing of crosses to be planted in the fields of the faithful is one of the ways the older customs survive.
 

Keeping the Rogation Days Today

Much of modern society has lost its direct connection with the soil, but this psychological distance does not lessen the actual dependence of all people on the gifts of nature. Furthermore, responsible stewardship of all of these gifts is increasingly being recognized as the concern of all people. Days of thanksgiving, harvest festivals, and the like are observed in many churches at the end of the growing season. The Rogation Days at the time of planting have become little more than a liturgical footnote in the American Prayer Book, but in these times of growing ecological concern the Church would do well to revive them.

Practically speaking, the revival of Rogation observances is likely to involve more people if they are part of a Sunday service. It should be added that, while the Sixth Sunday of Easter is the traditional day, some adaptation to the local season and climate would be appropriate. After all, there is little point in blessing fields and seeds for planting at the time when crops are being harvested in the southern hemisphere. Similarly, there will be many places where farms and rural countryside will not be the locale of processions and blessings. But even in urban churches there should be an awareness of our dependence upon the fruits and resources of the earth, of the ways in which resources are wasted, of the dangers of pollution, and of our responsibility for honest labor and industry.

A Rogation observance in church, then, can be the opportunity for a homily on the Christian stewardship of natural resources. Various symbols can be introduced into the liturgy to reinforce this theme. A procession around the whole parish might not be a possibility, but a procession around the church grounds, a local park, or a parishioner's farm would be appropriate. Parishioners can bring their own garden seeds to be blessed and crosses can be blessed for parishioners to take home and plant in their fields or gardens. Making the crosses would be a good project for the children of the church school or individual families. If the children made Easter gardens, the plants in them can be transplanted to either the parish garden or their family gardens at home, adapting some of the prayers below. Even though the Sunday readings no longer keep the Rogation theme, the hymns can. Hymns and canticles that fit the Rogation theme include, "O Jesus crowned with all renown", "Fairest Lord Jesus", "We plow the fields and scatter", "Now the green blade rises", "O worship the King", Benedicite, omnia opera, and Psalm 65.

Here are some elements and prayers for a Rogationtide expansion of the Eucharistic liturgy on Rogation Sunday or any day designated for the observance of Rogation themes:

At the Offertory

Expand upon the usual Offertory of the Eucharist. Seven elements might be presented by members of the congregation and placed upon the Altar:

money - the regular tithes and offerings;
bread - preferably a home-baked loaf (click here for some recipes);
wine - perhaps a bottle of table wine, rather than the usual Eucharistic wine;
soil - a wooden or earthenware bowl of soil;
water - in a clear vessel so that it may be seen;
seed - a bowl of seed, or a basket of various packaged seeds (notice might be
          given beforehand for people to bring their own garden seed to be blessed
          either at the Eucharist or at the procession afterwards);
crosses - a basket of small wooden or paper crosses.

When the elements are brought forward, or after they have been presented, sing this hymn to the tune Lancashire ("Lead on, O King eternal"):

We pray thee, therefore, Father, to take these gifts of ours
Ourselves, our lives, our labors, our thoughts, our words, our powers;
Though they all be unworthy to place upon Thy board
We know Thou wilt accept them through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As each element is received, an appropriate prayer is said:

At the presentation of money:
Accept, O Lord, our gifts of money, which represent the business of our daily lives:  Use them for the work of your Holy Church to carry out your mission; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the presentation of bread:
Almighty God our Savior, who in the carpenter's shop at Nazareth labored for daily bread: Accept this bread which is both the fruit of our work and the satisfaction of our needs, and so bless all our industry and necessity; for your sake. Amen.

At the presentation of wine:
We offer you, O Lord, this wine, the fruit of the vine: We pray that you will accept it, that it may become for us the Blood of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the presentation of soil:
Almighty Creator, we offer to you this soil in token of the fields and forests of our land on which we ask your blessing: We ask that the soil may be wholesome, the crops good, and that we may be faithful stewards of your mercies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the presentation of water:
O God, who brought forth life out of the waters of creation: Bless this offering of water and grant that there may be sufficient water to raise up good crops and to serve the needs of our industries; and may we drink of the Living Water to bring forth the fruit of godly living from the soil of our souls; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the presentation of seeds:
O Heavenly Father, who by your wondrous providence made all grass, herbs, and trees, each with seed after its own kind: Accept and bless our offering of seed to be planted throughout our parish, that the life in all seed sown may burst forth into fullness of its kind, according to your good creation, and especially the seed of your Word; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At the presentation of crosses:
O God, whose blessed Son has promised that we need only to ask in order to receive: Accept and bless these crosses, and grant that in the fields where we place them they may stand as a sign of our unfailing trust in your bounty and as encouragement to all who see them to put their faith in your providence; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
 


Rogation procession in Bedford, 1952

A Rogation Procession

Either immediately following the Eucharist, or at another convenient time, acolytes with cross, torches, banners, incense, holy water, and other symbols may lead the clergy and parishioners in procession. If no clergy are available, parishioners or families may organize their own procession, delegating or sharing the responsibilities for leading the prayers. During the procession, litanies, psalms, and hymns are sung. The litany may be the Great Litany from The Book of Common Prayer, or another litany. A Litany of the Saints is particularly appropriate on this occasion. The Rogation Days remind us that we are all part of creation and dependent upon both nature and our fellow humans for the necessities of life. Similarly, the Litany of the Saints reminds us that we are also part of something larger spiritually, the Communion of Saints, and dependent upon God's grace and our fellow saints, both living and departed, for spiritual support and sustenance.

The procession stops at various significant places to offer prayer. At each stop a blessed cross may be fixed to a landmark or set in a cultivated field as the Officiant says:

Set up your cross, O Lord, as an ensign to the people, and draw all nations to it.

A blessing appropriate to the place is then given. Incense may be offered and the place may be sprinkled with holy water. If a priest or bishop is not present, these prayers may be said by a layperson, adding the words in brackets. The people may also take blessed crosses and holy water to their homes and use these same prayers for the hallowing of gardens and farms that are not visited by the parish procession.

Blessing of Animals
O God, who created all beasts and cattle in a wonderful order and gave them into our care: [We ask you to] Bless these animals, that they may be a joy to humankind and sharers in the feeding and nurture of the world. Make us good shepherds of all your creatures, we pray, in the Name of our merciful and Good Shepherd, your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Blessing of Tools
O God, who in your Holy Word has revealed to us your continual love and care both in this life and in the life to come: Guide and direct us in our labors here as stewards of your creation. [We ask you to] Bless the tools of our work that by their good use we may bear fruit to your glory and be diligent in our vocations; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing of Seeds
(If seeds were not blessed at the Eucharist or additional seeds have been presented for blessing, the offertory prayer above may be used to bless seeds during the procession.)

Blessing of Gardens
O God, who has given each one of us the opportunity to share in the cultivation of the land: Give us also such skill and patience in digging and sowing and planting that fruit and vegetables and flowers may sustain our bodies and gladden our hearts by their usefulness and beauty. [We ask you to] Bless with a healthy and plentiful crop this garden. Endow with skill and endurance those who work here, giving them rich yields and an assured livelihood; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing of Fields and Pastures
O God, who spoke the word and the earth brought forth plants of every kind yielding seed and living creatures of every kind: [We ask you to] Bless these pastures and meadows, and all growing grass and green fields; may they remain healthy and unspoiled to the benefit and service of both man and beast. [We ask you also to] Bless these fields and all the crops that grow in our countryside; may the soil be wholesome and the crops sound; may the weather be favorable and the workers in good heart. O gracious God, multiply the seed of the sower, the bread of those who eat, and the fruits of righteousness in all your people; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing of Orchards
O God, who commanded that the earth bring forth trees bearing fruit of every kind with the seed in it: [We ask you to] Bless this orchard, together with the industrious bees who labor in it and the birds who find food and shelter in it; withhold both the late and the early frost that kills and send, in due season, such moderate rain and gentle sunshine that we may receive the fruits of it to our strength and to your honor; in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Blessing of the Parish (given at some central place or from the church door)
O God our Father, whose Son was content to share the life of his village at Nazareth: [We ask you to] Bless the life of this parish with your continual presence. Grant that in every home your Name may be hallowed and your will be done, that our people may learn to love every neighbor and live godly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Reconciliation is an important part of the Rogation tradition and should not be overlooked. It is rooted in respect for appropriate boundaries, in the proper ordering of every element of creation, and, most of all, in the forgiveness which Jesus himself extended to those who crucified him. Reconciliation is not just about confession to God and absolution, nor is it merely a formal liturgical rite. Rather, it is about face-to-face reconciliation with our neighbor, and most especially our neighbor within the Church. Thus, one of the stopping points of the Rogation procession should be a place where reconciliation is the theme, with an appropriate reading from Scripture (e.g., 1 John 4:13-21) and a homily calling on everyone in the parish to seek to resolve outstanding differences before the day is over. Whenever possible, the priest and other members of the parish should make concrete efforts to bring together those who need to be reconciled. This prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi may be used:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

It is traditional for the Rogation services and processions to end with food. Ganging Beer was probably just the seasonal brew at the local pub, so for those who want to keep that part of the tradition, any good local brew would serve the purpose well. No one seems to have any idea what Rammalation Biscuits were, so invent your own. Hot Cross Buns would make a suitable substitute, if you are not feeling creative. In any case, unique foods are not required. Have a picnic or a pot luck supper in the church hall. Gladden the body with good food and drink, and  the soul with the fruits of fellowship and reconciliation.

 

 

Ascension Day

Chapel of the Ascension - Mount of OlivesThen he led them out as far as Bethany....  While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven.  (Luke 24:50-51)

While Luke places the Ascension in Bethany, the tradition "on the ground" stops short of Bethany, on top of the Mount of Olives.  A stone inside the domed chapel there has traces of the footprints of Jesus before he ascended.  Although most modern Christians have long since foresworn the literal concept of a "three-storied universe," the notion of Ascension nevertheless directs us upwards, symbolically.  After all, no matter where one locates heaven, the biblical account still records that the last time the disciples saw the Risen Lord, he was going up.Ascension by Martin Luther  So, for us, as well as for ancient Christians, this is the consummate "mountaintop experience" and, consequently, traditions associated with keeping this feast take us both out and up.

Regrettably, Ascension Day is becoming a forgotten, or at least a displaced feast. Some provinces of the Roman Catholic Church now transfer the observance to the following Sunday and we have observed that many Episcopal churches ignore it altogether. This seems to reflect and even support the growing tendency among many Christians to focus their liturgical involvement with the church on Sunday. To some extent, this is a consequence of the demanding schedules of modern life, but we are sure that there are other reasons, as well. Needless to say, reversing the tendency to a kind of practical sabbatarianism is an important part of what Full Homely Divinity is about. Homely divinity is daily divinity. And daily divinity welcomes the festal interruption to ordinary routines every day of the week, and not just on Sunday. 

Liturgy

Renewing the active observance of this feast calls for a consideration of some of the liturgical customs that once distinguished it. Traditionally, the Paschal Candle was extinguished following the reading of the Gospel on Ascension Day. The gentle ascent and disappearance of the smoke from the smoldering wick was a poignant symbol of the departure of the Risen Lord from the earth.  Now, it is customary in many places to keep the Candle burning until Pentecost and to omit entirely any special ceremony of extinguishing it. There are credible reasons for this change. On the other hand, it is noteworthy that so little attention is given to the extinguishing of this Candle which was lit with major ceremony at the beginning of the Paschal Vigil and holds a place of such prominence in the church building throughout the season.

Like the Church at large, we at FHD are not of one mind on this practice. However, apart from the rites of the Church set forth by authority (i.e., The Book of Common Prayer), it is never our intent to prescribe, only to suggest. The rubric regarding the Paschal Candle in the American Prayer Book (p. 287) says "It is customary that the Paschal Candle burn at all services from Easter Day through the Day of Pentecost." At the risk of being accused of nitpicking, we note that "customary" is a relative term. Customs vary over both time and space and we are simply pointing out that this is one that is not universal. It has changed before and it could change again. Some of us see value in the old custom, and like it enough to keep it alive.

There are other liturgical customs for this day which have also fallen by the way. One such custom was the lifting up of a statue or picture of Christ. In some places, this was quite elaborate, with ropes or chains rigged to elevate the image. In some places, it disappeared behind a veil or into a representation of clouds, while in others it went through a hole in the ceiling. After the image vanished, the congregation would be showered with rose petals and other flowers, symbolizing the gifts which the ascended Christ gives to his Church:  When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people....that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers.... (Ephesians 4:7,11)

In Germany, it was the custom for the priest to lift high a crucifix after the reading of the Ascension Gospel.  This custom has much to recommend it. It makes visible the symbolic link between the Cross and the Ascension which is implicit in Jesus' words when he says, And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (John 12:32)  On the Cross, Jesus is glorified. When he ascends, he ascends to reign in glory. It could be a simple, yet effective, bit of liturgical drama to revive this custom. An extra acolyte, carrying a crucifix, could be added to the Gospel procession on Ascension Day. Or, if the parish owns a processional cross which has a figure of Christ on it, that should be carried at the head of the Gospel procession. It is important for this particular ceremony that the cross not be empty. While in many contexts an empty cross is an effective symbol, here the focus is on Christ himself, so a crucifix is needed. At the conclusion of the reading of the Gospel, instead of lifting the Gospel book and proclaiming "The Gospel of the Lord," the deacon or priest should exchange the book for the crucifix, and lift it high. It is still appropriate to say "The Gospel of the Lord," for the uplifted figure of Christ on the cross is indeed the Good News (Gospel) that we proclaim and celebrate. A processional crucifix would be especially dramatic as it would enable the Gospeller to lift the figure very high.

Processions

Ascension Day has always been a day for processions, following the example of Jesus who led the disciples out of Jerusalem and up the Mount of Olives. In the Middle Ages, these processions went out into the streets of the town, and everyone took part. In England a banner depicting a lion trampling the devil under his foot was often carried at the head of the procession, symbolizing the triumph of the ascended Christ over the evil one. In the course of the medieval processions in larger towns and cathedral cities, there were stops along the way to view pageants. These medieval pageants, enacted during processions on several of the greater feasts, were designed to teach the unlettered faithful about the feast and were the basis for the more elaborate cycles of mystery plays that became a centerpiece of the feast of Corpus Christi.

As with the Rogation processions, the liturgical processions of Ascension Day had their non-liturgical aspects.  In time, the liturgical procession evolved into a holiday hike, with hills and mountaintops as their destination. This is the logical focus for a family observance of the feast. After attending the Ascension Day Eucharist, or on the weekend following, take a picnic lunch or supper and hike to the top of the highest hill or mountain around. If hiking is not possible for some reason, drive, but go up to the heights. At the beginning of the trip, read Luke 24:50-52 and say this prayer:

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

On the way, sing or say Psalm 47, which proclaims: God is gone up with a merry noise. If you have a portable tape or CD player, play a recording of a choir singing the psalm or the anthems based on it by Orlando Gibbons, William Croft, or Gerald Finzi, or other Ascension Day music. When you reach the top of the hill, read the story of the Ascension in Acts 1:6-11 and say this prayer:Ascension by John Singleton Copley

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Take time to notice the clouds, if there are any that day (and hope that they are not pouring rain!) There is an old tradition that the clouds on Ascension Day take the form of lambs, in honor of the Lamb of God. See what shapes you can find among the clouds. You could also make your own clouds with incense or if you light a fire to cook on. 

Food

Every feast has its food traditions and Ascension Day is no exception. Some of them could be incorporated into your picnic lunch or supper. In keeping with the day's theme of upward flight, it is traditional to eat fowl: pigeon, partridge, pheasant, and even crow have been known to make it into the menu. Unless you are a hunter, Cornish game hen or duck from the market will be more readily available, and definitely more palatable than crow. German chefs make pastries in the shape of birds, a good alternative for vegetarians. As Christ is the first fruits of the dead, the blessing and eating of first fruits of the earth is a custom in warmer climates. Northerners will have to improvise, but will have no trouble finding many possibilities in well stocked modern produce markets. Italians take beans and grapes to church to be blessed, these being foods that their tradition says are eaten by the people released from Limbo when Christ ascended.  The grape leaf is one of the first to sprout in the spring, so Armenians make Dolmas, stuffed grape leaves, to eat on Ascension Day. For dessert, even though they are not traditional, how about cloud-like puffs of white meringues, or a pie topped with meringue?

Well-Dressing

A unique English Ascension Day custom is found in Derbyshire. The custom is known as well-dressing and it involves decorating certain local wells with elaborate mosaic pictures, created with flower petals and other natural materials pressed into clay. Traditionally, the pictures were of a religious nature, though the modern observance of the custom has branched out into non-religious themes, as well. The custom cannot be said to have any thematic link with the feast itself. Indeed, it may be older than Christianity in Britain, but it has been observed on Ascension Day at least from the Middle Ages. The connection may have to do with a severe drought, during which certain wells continued to flow. Grateful people from the district came together on Ascension Day to give thanks for the thirst-quenching waters, and thus an ancient custom took on a Christian association, and became a part of the annual observance of the feast. Chambers' Book of Days gives an elaborate description of the festivities surrounding well-dressing at Tissington in 1864. More photos of modern dressed wells and a description of the process of dressing them today in Derbyshire may be found here.

Novenas

The nine days from Ascension Day to the Eve of Pentecost are the original novena--nine days of prayer. Before he ascended, Jesus ordered the disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there to be baptized by the Holy Spirit. After his Ascension, they returned to the upper room in Jerusalem where they devoted themselves to prayer. These last days of the Great Fifty Days of Easter can be a time for us to prepare for the celebration of Pentecost. As we anticipate the coming of the Holy Spirit, this can be a time to pray for renewal in the Spirit and a time to reflect on the gifts which the Spirit bestows on the Church. The prayer for the newly baptized, p. 308, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the traditional prayer for the seven gifts of the Spirit, based on the prophecy of Isaiah 11:2-3. This prayer could be the basis for daily reflection on the gifts of the Spirit in the days between the Ascension and Pentecost and the following adaptation of it could be used daily as a simplified novena.

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon us the forgiveness of sin, and have raised us to the new life of grace in your Son Jesus Christ. Sustain us, O Lord, in the gifts of your Spirit: an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works. Amen.

Or, here is a fuller novena, based on the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit. It may be used at the conclusion of the Daily Office or as a separate act of devotion.

A Novena for the Gifts of the Spirit
 

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.
Thy blessed unction from above
is comfort, life, and fire of love.
Enable with perpetual light
the dullness of our blinded sight.
Anoint and cheer our soiled face
with the abundance of thy grace.
Keep far our foes, give peace at home:
where thou art guide, no ill can come.
Teach us to know the Father, Son,
and thee with both to be but One,
that through the ages all along,
this may be our endless song:
praise to thy eternal merit,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Come, great Paraclete, Father of the poor, Comforter of the blest, fulfill the promise of our Savior who would not leave us as orphans. Enter our minds and hearts as you descended on the day of Pentecost upon the Mother of Jesus and upon his Apostles. Grant that every member of the Church may have a part in those gifts which were bestowed that day. O Holy Spirit, giver of every good and perfect gift, may the Father's will be done in us and through us, and may you, O mighty Spirit, equal to the Father and the Son in Being and majesty, be praised and glorifed for ever and ever. Amen.

Here may be added any of the following prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary, Trisagion, Kyrie eleison, Gloria Patri, concluding with the prayer appropriate to the day of the novena.

First Day
Come, O Holy Spirit, the Lord and Lifegiver: Take up your dwelling within my soul and make of it your sacred temple. Make me live by grace as an adopted child of God. Pervade all the energies of my soul, and create in me a fountain of living water springing up into life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Second Day - Wisdom
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to me the mysteries of divine things, their greatness, and power, and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the transient joys and satisfactions of the mortal world. Show me the way by which I may be able to attain to them and participate in them forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Third Day - Understanding
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten my mind, that I may know and believe all of the mysteries of salvation and discern your hand at work in the world. Teach me to see with your eyes that I may apply my heart unto wisdom in this life and be made worthy to attain to the vision glorious in the life to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Fourth Day - Counsel
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do your holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good, turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the path of him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life to the goal of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Fifth Day - Fortitude
Come, O Spirit of Fortitude, and give courage to my soul. Make my heart strong in all trials and in all distress, generously pouring strength into it that I may be able to resist the allurements of the world, the flesh, and the devil; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Sixth Day - Knowledge
Come, O Spirit of Knowledge, and make me understand the emptiness and chaos of life without you. Give me grace to recognize the goodness of the whole creation and to honor the Creator by using the world only for your glory and for the benefit and the salvation of all whom you have made; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Seventh Day - Piety
Come, O Spirit of Piety, possess my heart; incline it to a true faith in you, to a holy love of you, my God, that with my whole being I may seek you, and find you to be my best, my truest joy;through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Eighth Day - Holy Awe [Fear]
Come, O Spirit of Holy Awe, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever. In joy and wonder may I be made worthy to appear before the pure eyes of your divine Majesty and behold your glory face to face in the heaven of heavens, where you live and reign in the unity of the Ever-blessed Trinity, now and forever. Amen.

Ninth Day
Come, O Holy Comforter, come in all your fullness and power. Enrich us in our poverty, inflame us in our feebleness, melt our hearts with your love. Make us wholly yours, until your gifts are ours and we are lost in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Father, one God, in Trinity of Persons, now and forever. Amen.

Descending Dove, stained glass

 

Home

 


The Gathering at the Table Group meets on Tuesdays 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

posted Feb 1, 2016, 4:42 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 15, 2017, 5:30 PM ]







The Gathering at the Table group was formed through the initiative of Judith Ewing, an Episcopal deacon who serves at East Cooper Episcopal Church.  She sought out the Rev. Michael Burton, a supply priest at Calvary, about setting up an initial gathering.  Members of Calvary Episcopal Church and members of East Cooper Episcopal Church meet in the Calvary Church Parish Hall each Tuesday evening to share their perspectives on matters of race - past and present. 

Originally scheduled to meet for four weeks in October, 2015, the group has bonded and grown in their commitment.  They continue to meet, entertaining lively and healing discussions.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.




  • The Gatherers are planning a trip to visit the National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC on August 28 - 30, 2017.  The trip is still in the planning stages, but reservations are being made.  You may use the contact form on this website to request information or arrange to join the group on their journey.
  • The East Cooper Episcopal Church has a new home. They now hold Sunday services at 10:00 A.M. at the J. Henry Stuhr Mount Pleasant Chapel at 1494 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
  • The Gatherers attended the dedication ceremony at the Penn Center in Beaufort, SC and were excited to speak with The Honorable James Clyburn after his presentation.
    Members pictured here left to right: Wallace and Joan Bonaparte, Congressman Clyburn, Hannah Heyward and Masha Britten.






Picture

'Gather Around the Table'

Friday, June 17, marks one year since the night a gunman took the lives of nine people at Emanuel AME Church. As we remember this anniversary, may we pause in prayer for the people who died, for those who still mourn, and for every life that was irrevocably affected by the tragedy of that night in 2015.

The following article represents one way in which people in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina are responding after Emanuel to seek a path toward understanding and reconciliation. In the days ahead, we encourage others to share their stories, too.

O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the pains of our woundedness, confusion and great sorrow, and continue to bring peace to our community, peace to your Church, peace among peoples, and peace in our homes. And may the balm of your reconciling love lived out among us continue to soothe our suffering hearts. All this we pray in name of our wounded and risen Savior, God with us, Jesus Christ. Amen.

​It’s a June evening in Charleston, and the back door of the church is unlocked. People come in at their own pace, embracing, smiling, setting down plates of cookies on the big table in the parish hall.

No one speaks of it yet, but on everyone’s mind is a June evening in Charleston almost one year earlier, when nine people were shot dead just a mile away at Emanuel AME Church, in an African American congregation that opened its doors and invited the killer into their weekly Bible study.

The horror of June 17, 2015 and the days that followed gave way to deep grief, and deep questions. How could this have happened? What could I be doing to change that? How can we find bridges across the barriers of race?

Every Tuesday night, a small group from two local Episcopal churches, East Cooper and Calvary, have been meeting to see if they can find some answers. The name they have given themselves reflects the simple agenda for the group: “Gatherers Around the Table.”

After the massacre at Mother Emanuel, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina accelerated its plan to offer anti-racism training for the diocese – training that is required by Episcopal Church canons, but was never offered until a rift in 2012 brought new leadership. Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg, who took office in January 2013, immediately put anti-racism training on his  short-list of needs for the reorganizing diocese, and the first one was on the calendar when the Emanuel tragedy struck.

In September 2015, Calvary hosted one of four “Traces of the Trade” conferences offered around the diocese. Each event encouraged people to open their minds and hearts to conversations about the legacy of slavery and racism.
PictureMarlene O'Bryant-Seabrook, Barbara Eckman and Judith Ewing work on journal-quilts on June 14.
Judith Ewing, an Episcopal deacon who serves at East Cooper, was at the Calvary program. “I realized how ignorant I was,” she said. “I realized the importance of relationships, of just getting to know each other. I just knew we needed to gather at the table.”
 
She quickly sought out the Rev. Michael Burton, a supply priest at Calvary, about setting up an initial gathering. The first one happened in October: Six people from each congregation, who committed to meeting every Tuesday for a trial run of six weeks.

Like Emanuel, Calvary has deep roots in Charleston’s history, founded in 1847 for “religious instruction” of enslaved African Americans. For years, it housed the only preschool and kindergarten for African American children on the Charleston peninsula, and many leaders passed through its doors. The first black jurist to serve on an appellate court in the United States, Jonathan Jasper Wright, was buried in its churchyard in 1885.

By comparison, the East Cooper Episcopal Church is in its infancy. Approved as a new mission congregation at Diocesan Convention in 2014, it serves the predominantly white suburbs across the Cooper River from Charleston. It was formed by Episcopalians who were left without a place to worship when churches in that area went with the breakaway group that left The Episcopal Church in 2012.
 
With widely different backgrounds, the two groups shared one common characteristic: Curiosity, and a desire to learn about each other.
 
Their first meeting was planned as a simple Bible study, “because that would be sweet and safe and nobody would say anything that will upset anybody,” Ewing said. “But I said, ‘Maybe we need to say things that upset people.’”
 
Artist and educator Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook was there, and had the same reaction. Ewing recalls her saying: “I’ve been to many Bible studies, and nobody ever mentions the elephant in the middle of the room. Why can’t we mention the elephant in the room?”
 
Eight months later, the elephant is still loose. Trayvon Martin and Freddie Gray. The challenges of growing up in a mixed-race family. Assumptions about intelligence. Co-workers who act friendly, but never get close. The Spoleto production of “Porgy and Bess.” Ethnic foods they like and dislike. It’s all on the table when they gather.
 
“We’ve never put aside anything, or say ‘We mustn’t talk about that.’ We talk about everything,” Deacon Ewing says.
 

Picture
Along the way, others have joined. One member recently moved from New York after years in churches that were active in social justice issues, looking for a community in Charleston where that could keep happening. Another regular Gatherer is a social worker from another church who came with an East Cooper friend.  “I thought I knew almost everything about black culture, especially in Charleston,” she says, laughing. “But I don’t.”

Dr. O’Bryant-Seabrook, a Calvary member in her 80s, has become the group’s matriarch and historian. On the recent Tuesday night in June, she gave them all an assignment: Come up with a personal statement about why they came to be “Gatherers Around the Table,” and then create a small journal-quilt to illustrate it. A few skeptical looks were exchanged around the table, but the group quickly warmed up to the task of explaining why they come to the meetings week after week.
 
The Tuesday before the Emanuel anniversary, they were putting the final touches on their letter-sized pieces of fabric art filled with color, symbols, and words like Curious, Sharing, Understanding, Love, and Hope. Beside an image of Emanuel, one proclaims: “Hate Will Not Win!”
 
As a child growing up in Charleston, Dr. O’Bryant-Seabrook says, “I could not go three blocks without passing a church. I remember asking my mother, ‘I would like to know what they’re praying for.’ With all the inequities and oppression, I wondered, were they praying for something that black churches were not praying for?”
 
Decades later, those questions persist. “I wanted to be a part of this group because for a long, long, long, long time, I wanted to be comfortable in a group of caucasians and blacks where we can actually, openly, honestly and safely discuss what happens, and why it happens,” she says.

As the members of the group went around the room, the words “safe place” came up again and again.
 
“When we started, we said we weren’t’ going to judge, or say “You shouldn’t be saying that,” Deacon Ewing says. “We were going to accept each one in our knowledge and our ignorance, and love each other anyway.”
 
As the gathering wraps up, the group continues to share their ideas as they pass the plates of cookies around the table. “When you eat with somebody, it changes the whole dynamic,” one woman says. “It gives me a lot of hope.”
 
In the words of Anne Nietert’s journal quilt: “Anger exploded into the Palmetto night, but, in the shadows, a new day is dawning as we Gather at the Table to learn, to listen, and to love.” 
 
Holly Behre, Director of Communications
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina



Source:  http://www.episcopalchurchsc.org/2016-06-15-gather-around-the-table.html

Installation of our new Provisional Bishop - Bishop Skip Adams

posted Oct 26, 2015, 8:07 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Apr 17, 2017, 4:09 PM ]


Welcome!



The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has reorganized and is carrying forward the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as generations of Episcopalians in South Carolina have done since 1789, confident that by moving forward together in unity and faith, with God's help, we will flourish.

Your participation in the life of our diocese and its parishes, missions and worshiping communities is encouraged. The Episcopal Church always welcomes you!

The powerful words of a beloved bishop of South Carolina speak poignantly to us as we continue to rebuild:

 
“We should strive for unity, not uniformity. Uniformity is mechanical, barren, unfruitful, and unprofitable. Unity is organic, living, and capable of endless growth. If we are to be truly catholic, as Christ himself is catholic, then we must have a church broad enough to embrace within its communion every living human soul.”

The Right Reverend William Alexander Guerry
(1861-1928)





Bishop Skip Adams

The Right Reverend Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams III was elected by acclamation and invested as the Provisional Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina on September 10, 2016 at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston. 

 
Bishop Adams, 64, continues until October as the 10th Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, where he has served for the last 15 years. Several months before South Carolina's call, he had announced plans to retire from Central New York. Based in Liverpool, NY, that diocese has 81 congregations and some 13,000 members, and has elected the Very Reverend DeDe Duncan-Probe to become its 11th bishop on December 3, 2016. 

The South Carolina diocese, which covers the eastern half of the state, consists of 31 parishes, missions and worshiping communities and has an estimated 7,000 members. 

Bishop Adams is a native of Baltimore, MD, and graduated from Towson University in 1976. In 1980 he earned his Master of Divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1980. He went on to serve in churches in New York, Virginia, New Hampshire and Maryland.

He enjoys fly-fishing and fly-tying, reading, music of all kinds, camping and canoeing. He is interested in the Church and people in El Salvador (the companion Diocese of Central New York), environmental and social issues. Bishop Adams’ wife, Bonnie Adams, is a registered nurse, and they have three adult children: Peter, Stephen, and Emily.





About our leadership transition
Leaders of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina in June nominated the Right Reverend Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams III as the next Provisional Bishop for the diocese, calling him to South Carolina as he prepared to retire as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.
 
The Standing Committee called a Special Convention for September 10 at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, so delegates could vote on installing Bishop Adams as the successor to Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg.

Bishop Adams was the unanimous choice of the Standing Committee, said the committee’s President, the Reverend Jean McGraw. The nomination follows a four-month search process. Read more here.

On January 14, 2016, Bishop vonRosenberg announced his plan to retire after concluding his 2015-2016 calendar of episcopal visitations. Read his letter here.

Find out more about this transition on our Leadership Transition Page.




 
PictureBishop Adams and Bishop Wolfe
The Right Reverend Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams III was elected by acclamation and invested as the Provisional Bishop for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina on Saturday, September 10.
 
“We are going to continue to look out, and to look beyond, and to trust whatever the future holds, because we know that future is held by God,” Bishop Adams told Episcopalians from across eastern South Carolina who gathered at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston.

Bishop Adams is the successor to Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg, who led the diocese for 3-1/2 years as Provisional Bishop, guiding it through a period of reorganization after a group of churches and individuals announced they were breaking away from the Church in 2012. 
 
Bishop Adams officially retires in October after serving 15 years as the 10th Bishop of Central New York. Meanwhile, he has taken up residence in Charleston and begun his new duties as Provisional Bishop. He and his wife, Bonnie, were welcomed by more than 200 people at a reception Friday evening at Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston. (View photos of the reception)

Following the usual procedure for provisional bishops, Bishop Adams was the only nominee put forward at the Special Convention of the diocese on Saturday, which was called to order by Bishop vonRosenberg.  (View a photo album of the Special Convention and liturgy)

The Reverend Jean McGraw, President of the Standing Committee, said Bishop Adams was the unanimous choice of the committee, who she said “saw Bishop Adams as a spiritual leader, a man of prayer, and open to the Holy Spirit. He exuded a peaceful, calm demeanor, and much inner strength.”
 
The election was followed by a festive celebration of Holy Eucharist and an investiture liturgy. (Video of the service is here.)
 
Preaching and presiding at the service was the Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas. As Vice President of the House of Bishops, he led the investiture on behalf of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. He also brought words of encouragement for the reorganized diocese, which now includes 31 congregations and some 7,000 members.
 
“You know, you all are my heroes. You’re the people who get up early and stay up late to be The Episcopal Church in South Carolina,” Bishop Wolfe said in his sermon (text and video here).
 
“This is a place where your deep faith has been challenged and your strongest loyalties have been questioned,” Bishop Wolfe said.  “...You picked up your cross and followed Christ.”

Later in the service, Bishop Adams was formally seated in the cathedral by Dean Michael Wright. He then offered a tribute to Bishop vonRosenberg and his wife Annie.
 
“I am very clear that I could not be here celebrating with all of you without huge amounts of work being done… we wouldn’t be here without them,” Bishop Adams said.
 
 He also thanked the people of the diocese for the welcome that he and Bonnie have received.  “There is nothing greater than experiencing the love of God through God’s people,” he said.
 
“Anywhere that I have ever served in my 36 years of ordained ministry, Bonnie and I have fallen in love and we have been loved. And we look forward to falling in love with you.”
 
As a concluding reflection, Bishop Adams offered an image from hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: “Never skate to where the puck is. Always skate to where the puck is going.”
 
“I know that’s not a perfect science – it’s not always clear where the puck is going,” Bishop Adams said. “But I trust the Holy Spirit to lead us to where that puck is going… and that’s where we will go.”

 
​Sermon at the Welcome, Investiture and Seating of the Right Reverend Gladstone B. “Skip” Adams III as Provisional Bishop of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, at Grace Church Cathedral, Charleston, September 10, 2016
 
The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, D.D., 
Vice President, House of Bishops, The Episcopal Church
Ninth Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas

Come Holy Spirit and kindle the fire that is in us.
Take our lips and speak through them.
Take our hearts and see through them.
Take our souls and set them on fire. Amen.
 
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.”
 
Not long after I was elected Bishop of Kansas, I was in a small coffee shop not far from Coffeyville, Kansas. There I sat, resplendent in my sincere suit, brand new purple shirt, and the shiny new pectoral cross generously given to me by my former parishioners at Saint Michael and All Angels in Dallas, Texas. The cross, modest by Texas standards, was probably the largest golden object in Southeast Kansas at that time. When the waitress came up to take my order and she looked me up and down and said, “My, that is SOME kind of cross!” 
 
And I replied, “Well, thank you ma’am,” and then, trying to offer some kind of explanation I said, “You see, I’m the Episcopal Bishop of Kansas.” And she stopped, and looked over her glasses at me, and said, “Well, la DEE da!” 
 
And to complete my lesson in humility, she yelled over the counter to the cook, “Hey Frank, his holiness wants his hamburger medium rare!”
 
I’ve had a number of “la-DEE-da” moments as the Bishop of Kansas and as Vice President of the House of Bishops, but none of them any more meaningful than being invited to represent our beloved Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, at the Welcome, Investiture and Seating of Bishop Skip Adams. 
 
You know, you all are my heroes. You’re the people who get up early and stay up late to be The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. And I don’t know if you know this, but the whole Episcopal Church has been watching you all and cheering for you. And, I don’t know if you know it, but this can be a tough neighborhood in which to be The Episcopal Church!
 
Why, this is the kind of neighborhood where if, say, you decided to operate a Starbuck’s store, and then you decided you didn’t want to be part of Starbucks anymore, you could leave and STILL call yourselves “Starbucks!” You could take the signs and the coffee makers and everything! Wow. I’m just saying…
 
This is a place where your deep faith has been challenged and your strongest loyalties have been questioned.
 
And every time you spoke truth in the face of lies? You picked up your cross, and followed Christ.
 
And every time you reached out in reconciliation instead of anger? You picked up your cross and followed Christ.
 
And every time you cared more about the people than the buildings, and every time you cared more about the mission than the money, and every time you cared more about proclaiming the Gospel than winning the fight… you picked up your cross and followed Christ.
 
Show me another diocese tested as you have been tested. Show me a more faith-full, a more grace-filled, a more Christ-like response to dysfunction than you have offered in the contemporary history of this Church. I can think of none.
 
But even heroes need leaders, and in The Episcopal Church, we look to the Office of the Bishop to offer servant leadership to the faithful people of God. Your good and faithful bishop, Charles Von Rosenberg, and his wife, Annie, have stood in the lake of fire. And now we call upon another bishop, Skip, and his wife, Bonnie, to stand in the lake of fire once more with all of you.
 
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.”
 
At the very core of my being I believe there is no greater joy than the joy of Christian believing, no greater happiness than the happiness found in the Christian life, and, therefore, no greater privilege that that of leading others in this way of life, following the very example of Christ himself.
 
As most of you know, the word “episcopal” originates in the Greek word, episcopos, which means, literally, “overseer.” In our polity, the bishop is the chief pastor of a diocese. In the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, we say we are one church in 44 different locations. There are 44 different parishes and missions in our diocese, some 12,000 persons, and yet we remain one church. Your diocese, even fractured, is larger and more resourced.
 
All those communities of faith are connected. All of your communities of faith are connected! You share the same history. You all worship from the same Book of Common Prayer. You follow the same canons and sing from the same hymnal, and you all seek to know Christ and to make Christ known.
 
In our ecclesiology, the Office of the Bishop seeks to embody this unity. A bishop symbolically serves to connect every parishioner to the diocese and to connect every individual diocese to the roughly 2 million Episcopalians in the other 109 dioceses in the 16 different nations that make up The Episcopal Church.
 
Sixteen countries: the United States, Taiwan and Micronesia, Honduras, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Haiti (our largest diocese), the Dominican Republic, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, as well as the Episcopal Churches in six countries in Europe – Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. I often remind people that we are so international and diverse that all our work in the House of Bishops must be translated into both Spanish and French in order for every bishop to fully participate.
 
Furthermore, every bishop is an outward and visible sign of a connection to the more than 70 million members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest movement in all of Christianity behind Roman Catholicism and the Orthodox tradition. Every Episcopal bishop has been consecrated in a line of apostles that, we believe, traces back to the earliest leaders of the Christian movement and to Christ himself. So, when Bishop Adams lays his hands upon the head of a confirmand, or shakes the hand of someone being received into our fellowship, there are a whole lot of other hands connected to that moment! We are part of a faith tradition that finds its origins in the earliest Christian Church.
 
Now it’s likely many of you have come to The Episcopal Church by a variety of different paths and for many different reasons. But I thought I would take just a moment to review why you have come to this tradition and why you have gone through all of this. I thought I might take just a moment to explain why your sacrifice has been worth it.
 
Now, I know there are many other wonderful traditions within Christianity, and I am well aware of the many imperfections that exist within our own branch of the Christian Church. I also know that not everyone here this morning may be a confirmed member of The Episcopal Church. But a lot has been said and written in recent years about our denomination, particularly in this neighborhood, and I thought it might be helpful if I tried to set the record straight.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you are drawn to the complexity of God as revealed in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, as opposed to simplistic expressions of God that cannot help but distort God’s true multidimensional nature.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you believe men and women are fundamentally equal in the sight of God, and women as well as men should be able to serve in every office in the Church. In The Episcopal Church, women serve as acolytes, vestry members, senior and junior wardens, deacons, priests, bishops and even as Presiding Bishop! Believe it? Heck, I’ve seen it.
 
I am a man who believes this is not only a very good thing but, I believe it’s a genuine glimpse into the very Kingdom of God, where men and women both have equal access to the glory and the love of God. In the Episcopal Church, we have a place for women AND men in every position of responsibility in the Church.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you believe age, race, disability or sexual orientation shouldn’t keep anyone from having an equal place in the House of God. This is a stance that has created significant tensions in our fellowship, and those tensions won’t evaporate overnight. But I believe the positions we have taken in these matters will, with the benefit of history, make us look as though we have been guided by the Triune God in our deliberations. And, in true Anglican form, we remind everyone our unity is not uniform. You don’t have to agree with us to pray with us, to receive the Sacrament with us or to join us in bearing the cross of Christ.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you believe in the power of both the Word of God preached and in the presence of God as revealed through the sacraments. If you find solace and strength through hearing God’s word preached with power, and in receiving the Body and Blood of Christ on a regular basis, you have come to the right place.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you believe the glory of God can be revealed through beautiful architecture, beautiful music, beautiful liturgy, beautiful art and beautiful literature. Episcopalians believe God is fully revealed in the midst of such beauty, and we seek to support and value the aesthetic in all of life. And you should be an Episcopalian if you believe the glory of God is also found in worship offered in funeral homes and coffee shops or wherever God’s people can gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you’re serious about hearing and learning about the Word of God. If you attend Episcopal worship regularly, you will hear the largest part of the Bible read over a three-year cycle. Episcopalians hear lessons from the Old Testament, the Psalms, the Epistles as well as from the Gospels, while many so-called “Bible churches” hear comparatively little of the Bible read in worship. (Not too long ago I attended worship with some of my extended family at the Bible Church they attend, and we only heard one small verse from 2nd Corinthians in the entire service! Now, granted, there was a 45-minute sermon on that single verse, but I would have preferred to have heard a good deal more from the original source.) Episcopalians bring a scholarly mind to the study of the Bible, and most Episcopalians take the Bible far too seriously to take it literally.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you think churches should be built around the worship of God and not around the charisma of any one clergyperson. Robert Schuller was an incredibly gifted orator, but his great Crystal Cathedral is now home to a Roman Catholic diocese that found a bargain basement deal on some Southern California real estate! Our ecclesiology makes it difficult, though as we know all-too- well, not impossible, for charismatic clergy to lead parishes and dioceses into unhealthy relationships with them. But in The Episcopal Church it will always be God, and not the clergy, who remain the center of our focus.
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you believe frightening imperfect Christians with the fiery flames of hell or with crushing, unrelenting guilt is not only unbiblical, but it is foundationally unChristian.
 
This is a church where the grace of God trumps the wrath of God, and this is a church where God’s love has the power to redeem any and every one. A God who can forgive your deepest and most haunting sins just may be a God who is loving and powerful enough to forgive mine. This is a hospital for sinners, not a haven for saints! If you are divorced, this is the church for you. If you are a single mother or father, this is the church for you. If you struggle with addiction issues, this is the church for you. Jesus Christ died on a cross to save us, not to mock us or to belittle us.
 
The Episcopal Church seeks to find a place mid-way between “an acrid orthodoxy and an arid liberalism,” and we try, although we don’t always succeed, to maintain the “via media,” the “middle road.”   
 
You should be an Episcopalian if you believe in working closely in mission and ministry with other Christian denominations, like the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Old Catholics, the Moravian Church, the United Methodist Church and a host of other denominations with whom we are pursuing deeper ecumenical relationships.

Episcopalians believe we should fully live out the Gospel imperative to feed the hungry, clothe the naked and care for the least among us. These are imperatives for every Christian, and they are at the core of who we are as Episcopalians.
 
Well, perhaps you didn’t need any encouragement from a visiting bishop on becoming or remaining an Episcopalian and, as an old sales manager of mine once told me, “If they’ve decided to buy, you should stop selling.” 
 
But we’re living in a turbulent and polarized time, and assaults made upon our tradition from sources both foreign and domestic inspires me to remind us what being an Episcopalian truly means. The cultural and political wars have not left our beloved tradition unscathed, and what some have judged to be a liberal institution falling away from the faith once delivered, I see as a holy institution discovering its deepest Christian moorings and coming most faithfully into its own.
 
Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you”
 
We are Episcopalians. We stand with the poor, the oppressed and those who have no advocate, and this always puts us in harm’s way. We bring our heads and our hearts to every theological discussion, and if you want to know what it is that we believe, watch how we pray.
 
If we have little to say in the face of some of the most outrageous accusations made against us, it will be because we are exercising classic Anglican reserve rather than because we have nothing to say in our own defense.
 
Jesus was angry when he cleared the moneychangers out of the temple because he knew they were desecrating the holy things of God for their own purposes.  
 
As former Presiding Bishop John Hines once said, “They did not crucify Jesus for saying, ‘Behold the lilies of the field, how they grow.’ They crucified Jesus for saying, “Behold the thieves in the temple, and how they steal.” Picking up one’s cross requires strength and resilience.
 
We are Episcopalians, and we are unafraid to speak truth to power.
We are Episcopalians, and we are imperfect in so very many ways.
We are Episcopalians, and we live illumined by the light of the Trinity: God the creating Father, God the redeeming Son and God the sustaining Holy Spirit.
 
Now Skip, if I may presume to offer a more personal word to you.
 
The Franciscans have a saying, “Be gentle, and you can be bold. Be frugal, and you can be generous. Be humble, and you can lead.”
 
As persons under Holy Orders, we need to know how to remain connected to the Source of All Things, the Creating, Redeeming, Sustaining God who provides our every breath, empowers our every effort, and makes possible that which would be completely impossible otherwise. Now you know this, and I know this, and we all know this, but I am saying it to remind all of us of the fundamental necessity of maintaining a vibrant prayer life, and I really can’t think of a more important thing to share with you on this occasion.
 
Remember in the Book of Acts where it says, “When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.”
 
Is there a person in this cathedral who doubts the power of such prayer? Is this not the power that changes the whole world?
 
As Christians, we pray, finally, to be raised up with Christ. Raised up out of our anxieties. Raised up out of our self-centeredness. Raised up out of our darkness into the brilliant light. Raised up out of our disillusionment into that sacred hope. Raised up out of our despair into unspeakable glory. Raised up! Raised up!
 
Skip, what the good people of this diocese already know about you is how gifted you are and how faithful you are to Christ and the Church. What they may not know is how respected you are among your colleagues in the House of Bishops, and that you are known for your spiritual depth and for your wisdom and for your good humor. (And, as you know, a good sense of humor will save you in this work!)
 
Willa Cather, in her classic novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop, wrote, “The miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what there is about us always.”
 
Today, this very day, may your perceptions be made finer. May your eyes see and your ears hear, “what is there about us always.”
 
Now, it’s customary for the preacher to give a charge at an ordination. Skip, you’ve been ordained for a very long time now, but may I ask the bishop to please stand?
 
My Dear Brother in Christ, surprise the people you serve with the intensity of your prayers and the clarity of your purpose. Be courageous in the knowledge that Christ is your sure and certain companion. Remember with a fierce tenacity the many, many gifts of the people you serve, and forget with an easy grace their many, many faults.
 
Seek out for the poor, the weak and the sick, and become their sure voice. Seek out the rich, the strong and the healthy, and be their guide. Seek out the young, the naïve and the uneducated, and be their teacher. Seek out the wise, the faithful and the brave, and be their student.
 
And never, ever, ever forget who you are and to whom you finally belong.
 
My dear brother in Christ, may the Lord guard, guide and richly bless your ministry in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina today and forever. Amen.
 
See the full photo album here
More than 200 people came out to greet Bishop Skip Adams and his wife, Bonnie, on Friday, September 9 at Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston. The reception was a prelude to Saturday's Special Convention, which begins at 10 a.m. 
 
Bishop Skip Adams enjoys a cup of coffee in the Diocesan Office (above) as he prepares to greet visitors Tuesday morning. He is spending this week meeting with staff and leaders from around the diocese as he prepares to serve as our new Provisional Bishop.

The Special Convention begins at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday at Grace Church Cathedral, with a special Choral Eucharist. Everyone is invited to attend and join in the celebration as we welcome Bishop Adams.

Please keep our Special Diocesan Convention in your prayers.
 
Almighty and everliving God,
source of all wisdom and understanding,
be present with those who take counsel in Diocesan Convention
for the renewal and mission of your Church.
Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory.
Guide us to perceive what is right,
and grant us both the courage to pursue it
and the grace to accomplish it;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Book of Common Prayer, page 818)

This FridayMeet Bishop & Mrs. Adams at Church of the Holy Communion
5:30-7:30 p.m.


Come and meet Bishop Skip and Bonnie Adams at a meet-and-greet reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at Church of the Holy Communion, Charleston. Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the entire diocese (not just convention-goers). Registration is not required. All are welcome!
 
This SaturdaySpecial Convention and Choral Eucharist
starting at 10:00 a.m.

Official registration closes Wednesday, September 7 for delegates and visitors. All are welcome to come and attend the Choral Eucharist and investiture service, even if you missed the registration deadline. 

The liturgy will begin immediately following the business meeting.
 
Read a news article about Bishop Adams in the Sunday edition of the (Charleston) Post and Courier.

Archives
From the Diocesan Website



Diocesan Staff News


Archives

February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
February 2016
January 2016

Categories

All
Altar Guild
Anglican Communion
Archdeacon
Bishop
Carolina Grace
Cathedral
Clergy Transitions
Commission On Ministry
Communication
Deacons
Diocesan Future Committee
Diocesan Staff
Emanuel
Episcopal Relief & Development
Evangelism
Federal Court
Formation
General Convention
Giving
Gun Violence
History
HIV/AIDS Ministry
Justice
Kanuga
Leadership Transition
Legal News
Lowcountry Giving Day
Mission
Missions And Worshiping Communities
Ordinations
Orlando
Outreach
Pentecost
President Of The House Of Deputies
Presiding Bishop
Racial Reconciliation
Seminarians
Sewanee
Standing Committee
Under One Roof
Voorhees College
Young Adults

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Visit to Calvary Episcopal Church on April 9, 2016

posted Oct 23, 2015, 9:04 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Apr 17, 2017, 3:51 PM ]


Calvary members greet Presiding Bishop Curry at the Neighborhood Block Party

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Picture


 

 
 


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's visit to our diocese
April 8-10, 2016​


The weekend's events


The Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, the Most Reverend Michael Curry, visited Charleston April 8-10 to preach, worship and visit with people from across The Episcopal Church in South Carolina at special events at five downtown churches.

Presiding Bishop Curry's major public appearance in Charleston was on Saturday at Church of the Holy Communion, where he gave the keynote address at an all-day educational conference titled "Spirituality, Evangelism, and Justice: Telling the Story, Sharing the Message of The Jesus Movement." (Read  about the conference in the column at the right.)
  
Friday, April 8
Community Evening Prayer
​Presiding Bishop Curry's first event was an ecumenical service of Community Evening Prayer at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 67 Anson St., with Christian leaders from around the city. The Reverend Dr. Betty Deas Clark, Pastor of Emanuel AME Church (above) was the preacher.  (video of Dr. Clark's Sermonvideo of the Presiding Bishop's Greeting) (photos)
Bishop's Lock-In
The Presiding Bishop visited middle-school and high-school students at an overnight lock-in at Grace Church Cathedral (above) (
more photos)
 
Saturday, April 9

'Spirituality, Evangelism, & Justice' Conference see the column on the right
Solemn High Mass
The Presiding Bishop was celebrant at Solemn High Mass at Church of the Holy Communion (above) at the conclusion of the Saturday conference. The preacher was The Rev. Canon Michael Hunn, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry Within The Episcopal Church. (photos) (video of Canon Hunn's sermon)
​​
Neighborhood Block Party
Calvary Episcopal Church, 106 Line St., celebrated the visit with a neighborhood block party on Saturday evening, with a DJ, barbecue, and a big crowd of neighbors and friends. Dr. Seabrook presented the Presiding Bishop with a special gift (above): a giclee print of a quilt made by educator and artist Dr. Marlene O'Bryant-Seabrook, commemorating Absalom Jones, the first African American priest in The Episcopal Church.  (more photos)

Sunday, April 10
Holy Eucharist at St. Mark's
St. Mark's and Calvary welcomed the Presiding Bishop as the preacher at a joint celebration of Holy Eucharist at St. Mark's (above) on Sunday morning. (more photos)
Choral Eucharist and Cathedral Celebration
Presiding Bishop Curry preached at Grace Church Cathedral, the newly-designated cathedral of the diocese, at 11:00 a.m. The Very Reverend Robert Willis, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral in the Church of England (left in the photo above), and Bishop vonRosenberg (right) also participated along with Dean Michael Wright of Grace Church Cathedral. The gift of a stone from Canterbury Cathedral was dedicated to mark the occasion. (video) (photos) ​Read more about the cathedral celebration here.
Celebrating our
​New Cathedral
The Presiding Bishop's visit to Grace Church Cathedral was an opportunity to celebrate Grace as the newest cathedral in the Anglican Communion. Read about the celebration here.

Quick links to photos
​and videos


VIDEOS (listed chronologically)
The Rev. Betty Deas Clark’s Sermon at Community Evening Prayer with the Presiding Bishop
Presiding Bishop Curry's Greetings at the Community Evening Prayer Service
Presiding Bishop Curry’s Keynote Address at the Spirituality, Evangelism & Justice Conference
The Rev. Canon Michael Hunn’s Sermon at the concluding Eucharist at the Spirituality, Evangelism & Justice Conference
Presiding Bishop Curry’s Sermon at Grace Church Cathedral
 (sermon begins at 38:20 in the video of the service)
 
ONLINE PHOTO ALBUMS
Bishop's Youth Lock-In at the Cathedral
Community Evening Prayer at St. Stephen's
'Spirituality, Evangelism and Justice' Conference at Holy Communion
Neighborhood Block Party at Calvary
Holy Eucharist at St. Mark's, Charleston
Choral Eucharist at Grace Church Cathedral 
Photo album shared by participants from the Diocese of Upper SC

SOCIAL MEDIA
See a sample of tweets and Instagram photos that used the hashtag #PBinSC

 'Spirituality, Evangelism, and Justice' Conference

Keynote speaker

Presiding Bishop Curry 
(video of the address)

Speakers

The Rev. Dr. David T. Gortner
Virginia Theological Seminary, "The Spiritual Practice of Evangelism"

The Rev. Kammy Young
of the University of the South at Sewanee, "Jesus, Justice and Jubilee" 
Resource: Download a PDF with the Rev. Young's presentation and a resource sheet.

The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart 
of Calvary Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C, "Racial Reconciliation: Beginning the Conversation"

Dr. Lester Pittman
of Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, "Who is My Neighbor? Living in a Multi-Faith Society 

​__________________________

The Conference Sponsor
This conference was made possible by The Episcopal forum of South Carolina, whose mission is to support The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, The Episcopal Church, and the worldwide Anglican Communion by providing support and educational offerings, including an annual educational conference.
 
Learn more, and find out how you can support The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina:
episcopalforumofsc.org
Facebook: facebook.com/EFofSC


 
 

Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop - The Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry

posted Sep 28, 2015, 2:19 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Apr 17, 2017, 3:59 PM ]


Sunday, November 1, 2015 12 PM

 Holy Eucharist with the Installation of
The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry as XXVII Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church


VIEW THE VIDEO OF THE INSTALLATION



Episcopal Church installs its first African American presiding bishop
 Michelle Boorstein November 1 at 10:22 PM
Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/episcopal-church-installs-its-first-african-american-bishop/2015/11/01/d9b7c44c-80d2-11e5-9afb-0c971f713d0c_story.html

The public face and style of the Episcopal Church shifted Sunday with the installation of Michael Bruce Curry, the denomination’s first African American spiritual leader.

Curry, 62, a high-energy, evangelical pastor, is expected to bring a positive, Pope Francis-like vibe to a church community marked in recent years by shrinking numbers and legal disputes related to gay rights.

“Don’t worry! Be happy! God loves you!” Curry boomed at the close of his sermon to the 2,500 people gathered in the soaring Washington National Cathedral. Preaching from the elevated Canterbury Pulpit, Curry immediately changed the face of Episcopalianism, historically one of the faiths of the nation’s white elite.

Curry, known for focusing on evangelism and programs for the poor, follows Katharine Jefferts Schori, a somber Nevada oceanographer who was presiding bishop for nine years.

Jefferts Schori oversaw a tumultuous period as Americans turned away from the denomination and conservatives streamed out, in some cases triggering litigation over church properties that bled into many millions of dollars. The church has faced the same tensions that other faiths have had for decades over issues such as gay rights and the female clergy, but it ordained Gene Robinson, an openly gay bishop, in 2003. Since then, the church has lost 20 percent of its membership.

Curry focused his installation sermon on racial reconciliation, a cause at the center of what he calls “the Jesus movement” — a new emphasis on evangelism. Preaching in an animated style more familiar to a Baptist church, he told the story of a young black couple who visited an all-white Episcopal church in the 1940s. The woman, an Episcopalian, approached to take Communion. The man, who was studying to be a Baptist pastor, sat in the back, watching to see what would happen when it became clear in this segregated era that there was just one cup from which everyone would drink.

When the white priest offered the cup to the young black woman, the scene was so dramatic that the man shifted his affiliation and was ordained as an Episcopalian.

“The Holy Spirit has done evangelism and racial reconciliation in the Episcopal Church before, because that man and woman were the parents of the 27th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church,” Curry said, speaking of himself.

The church broke into roars and applause.

“Yes, the way of God’s love turns our world upside down. But that’s really right-side up,” Curry preached. “And in that way, the nightmare of this world will be transfigured into the very dream of God for humanity and all creation. My brothers and sisters, God has not given up on God’s world. And God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet.”

[More on Bishop Curry’s life story]

Racial reconciliation has become a higher priority for many predominantly white U.S. churches. The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, along with the Rev. Mariann Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, in recent years have elevated it in sermons, programs on gun control and symbolic actions such as removing the Confederate flag from stained glass in the cathedral. The question for Curry and other faith leaders is how to avoid the political polarization Americans both love and hate and with which many young people associate organized Christianity.

While Curry focused on overcoming economic, racial, educational and political divisions, he is known as a progressive who was one of the first bishops to allow same-sex marriages to be performed, in North Carolina. He was involved in grass-roots demonstrations in Raleigh called Moral Monday, challenging local and state governments to address the poor and marginalized.

“Is it an understatement to say we live in a deeply complex and difficult time for our world,” Curry said. “Life is not easy. It is an understatement to say that these are not, and will not be, easy times for people of faith.

“Churches, religious communities and institutions are being profoundly challenged,” he said. “But the realistic social critique of Charles Dickens rings true for us even now: ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’ . . . Don’t worry! Be happy!”

The installation drew a large crowd for the cathedral, including 150 bishops who streamed in together in white-and-red clerical garb. There were at least 75 “watch parties” of Episcopalians across the country, church spokeswoman Neva Rae Fox said.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S.-based part of the global Anglican Communion, one of the largest Christian communities in the world. Its membership, about 1.8 million, was never large, but until recently was home to a disproportionate number of the United States’ business and political elite. Culturally it was considered a proper part of U.S. society, with a refined and orderly worship style. Although that is a somewhat outdated image, Curry’s installation drove home the change as clergy processed to powerful Native American drumming music and an intense rendition of the black spiritual “Wade in the Water.”



On demand video of the Eucharist will be available on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5YZtmFkNyU 






The Most Reverend Michael Curry

Hashtag #MichaelCurry

Michael Bruce Curry was elected and confirmed as the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church at the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City on June 27, 2015. He was previously elected as the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina on February 11, 2000. He was consecrated on June 17, 2000, in Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 13, 1953, Bishop Curry attended public schools in Buffalo, New York, and graduated with high honors from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, in 1975. He received a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from Yale University Divinity School. He has also done continued study at the College of Preachers, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wake Forest University, the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary’s Seminary, and the Institute of Christian Jewish Studies.

Bishop Curry was ordained to the diaconate in June 1978 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buffalo, New York, by the Rt. Rev. Harold B. Robinson and to the priesthood in December 1978, at St. Stephen’s, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, by the Rt. Rev. John M. Burgess.

He began his ministry as deacon-in-charge at St. Stephen’s, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in 1978 and was rector there 1979-1982. He next accepted a call to serve as the rector of St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights, Ohio, where he served 1982-1988.

In 1988 he became rector of St. James’, Baltimore, Maryland, where he served until his election as bishop.

In his three parish ministries, Bishop Curry was active in the founding of ecumenical summer day camps for children, the creation of networks of family day care providers and educational centers, and the brokering of millions of dollars of investment in inner city neighborhoods. He also sat on the Commission on Ministry in each of the three dioceses in which he has served.

During his time as Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, Bishop Curry has taken the Diocese into 21st-century Galilee, the complex modern world that churches must engage in order to continue spreading the Gospel. He instituted a network of canons, deacons, and youth ministry professionals dedicated to supporting the ministry that already happens in local congregations and refocused the Diocese on The Episcopal Church’s Millennium Development Goals through a $400,000 campaign to buy malaria nets that saved over 100,000 lives. Throughout his ministry, Bishop Curry has also been active in issues of social justice, speaking out on immigration policy and marriage equality.

Bishop Curry serves on the boards of a large number of organizations and has a national preaching and teaching ministry. He has been featured on The Protestant Hour and North Carolina Public Radio’s The State of Things, as well as on The Huffington Post. In addition, Bishop Curry is a frequent speaker at conferences around the country. He has received honorary degrees from Sewanee, Virginia Theological Seminary, Yale, and, most recently, Episcopal Divinity School. He served on the Taskforce for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church and recently was named chair of Episcopal Relief and Development’s Board of Directors. His book of sermons, Crazy Christians, came out in August 2013, and his second book, Songs My Grandma Sang, came out in June 2015.

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

Source:  Washington National Cathedral website:  http://www.cathedral.org/staff/PE-7CHH8-380004.shtml

Source:  Wikipedia:  Click here for a list of the Presiding Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America  - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_presiding_bishops_of_the_Episcopal_Church_in_the_United_States_of_America



The Episcopal Church’s first black leader — and its ‘tortuous’ path toward integration
By Sarah Pulliam Bailey October 15
Source:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/social-issues/first-black-episcopal-church-leader-will-continue-his-fathers-teachings/2015/10/14/bede82e2-72b2-11e5-8d93-0af317ed58c9_story.html

Bishop Michael Curry vividly remembers growing up in segregated Buffalo in the 1950s and ’60s, where on one bright morning in 1963, he crossed Main Street from East Buffalo to West Buffalo to attend an integrated school.

As an Episcopal priest and civil rights activist, his late father, Kenneth Curry, helped lead the boycott of the city’s segregated public schools. And yet, like the larger culture at the time, worship in the Episcopal Church he so loved was largely segregated. As leader of a black congregation in Buffalo, he never would have been called to the pulpit of a white Episcopal church.

Five decades later, Kenneth Curry probably would never have imagined that his son would be chosen to lead the entire denomination.

On Nov. 1, Michael Curry — who was elected this summer just one week after the shootings at a historic African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, S.C. — will be installed as the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church at Washington National Cathedral. He will replace Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was elected the church’s first female presiding bishop in 2006.
John Agbaje, right, takes a selfie with the Rev. Michael Curry
after the Virginia Theological Seminary consecrated its newly
built Immanuel Chapel on Tuesday in Alexandria.
(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

In many ways, Curry’s tenure will be a continuation of what his father taught him: In God’s eyes, all human beings are equal and deserve to be treated as such.  “I grew up seeing that Jesus of Nazareth has something to do with our lives and has something to do with how we structure and order our society,” said Curry, 62.

Curry, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina since 2000, was elected with an overwhelming majority, the third black candidate for presiding bishop in the church’s history.

“Most black Episcopalians interpret this as catching up, as something they should’ve done before,” said Byron Rushing, vice president of the House of Deputies and a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Blacks make up 6.3 percent of the church’s membership, compared with 86.6 percent for non-Hispanic white members, according to church data.

But as presiding bishop, Curry will face membership challenges that extend far beyond race. Like other mainline denominations, the Episcopal Church — the historic home to U.S. presidents and the nation’s elite — has struggled to fill its pews. It has lost more than 20 percent of its members since it consecrated its first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in 2003, and new statistics suggest that membership continues to fall, dropping 2.7 percent from 2013 to about 1.8 million U.S. members in 2014.

Progressive on social issues

On Tuesday, Curry and other church leaders gathered at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria to consecrate a chapel to replace the one that burned down in 2010. Curry was like a rock star to many of the seminarians, making faces for selfies.

Ian Markham, dean of the seminary, noted that the founders and faculty from the institution once owned slaves and that its new chapel has a plaque noting its past segregation in worship. “We have to recognize the sins of our past and repent of them,” he said.

Curry has a clear passion for evangelism, something he calls “the Jesus movement,” though not a formal movement within the church. He is also progressive on social issues and was one of the first bishops to allow same-sex marriages to be performed in North Carolina churches.

As bishop in North Carolina, Curry was involved in the grass-roots Moral Monday demonstrations in Raleigh, challenging local and state governments to address the poor and marginalized.

“The work of evangelism and social justice must go together, because it’s part of the whole gospel,” he said.

Observers note Curry’s desire to keep his installation service simple and his focus on people on the margins — almost like a Protestant Pope Francis who could help change the face of the church. His friends point to his boisterous preaching style as he moves around the pulpit and gestures with his arms, more Baptist than Episcopal in some ways.

The father of two adult daughters with his wife, Sharon, Curry is known for his infectious laughter and self-deprecating humor. He is an avid reader, a Buffalo Bills fan and a self-described “certified NFL grief counselor,” and a lover of music who took up the violin about seven years ago.

Curry said he was deeply shaped by his Baptist grandmother, the daughter of sharecroppers and granddaughter of slaves. While he was in middle school, she stepped in after Curry’s mother went into a coma brought on by a cerebral hemorrhage.

“My grandmother couldn’t imagine Barack Obama in the White House, and I know she couldn’t imagine her grandson as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church,” he said.

As a family, they would pray every night, and Curry jokingly said he would secretly hope that his father would pray so it would be a shorter one. “If it was the Baptist prayer, it would go on forever,” he said.

His mother, who grew up Baptist, switched to the Episcopal Church after she read “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. His father, who was a licensed Baptist pastor and came from a line of Baptist preachers, followed her.

Curry remembers the denominational bantering between his father and grandmother.

“They would tease each other. She would say, ‘How do you know if someone in your church has the Holy Spirit?’ He’d say, ‘You all got too much Holy Spirit in your church.’ ”

Ending the battles

Curry’s down-to-earth style and gift for bringing people together should prove valuable as he leads a church riven by divisions in recent years over issues from gay rights to how to read Scripture. However, many of its more theologically conservative churches have left the denomination after having been involved in multimillion-dollar lawsuits over the right to church properties.

Part of Curry’s challenge will be to put those battles over social issues fully in the past, said Ryan Danker, a church historian at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.

“If he can bring some peace and healing, maybe end the lawsuits, have discussion and dialogue with various parties, I think he’ll be very successful,” Danker said.

Jefferts Schori, the outgoing presiding bishop, said Tuesday that the Episcopal Church is no longer “the establishment church” in the United States, which she considers to be a good thing.

“We’re more focused on the people of the margins,” she said. “We’re willing to go be with, rather than do for, and I think that’s healthier spiritually.”

The Rev. Sandye Wilson, rector of St. Andrew and Holy Communion Episcopal Church in South Orange, N.J., and a friend of Curry’s, said he is uniquely able to address the range of Episcopal Church members.

“He is comfortable with kings and princes but doesn’t lose the common touch,” Wilson said. “He is as comfortable with people who are very wealthy and comfortable with people in prison.”

The Episcopal Church is affiliated with the larger worldwide Anglican Communion, the world’s third-largest Christian denomination, which is discussing whether it can remain unified amid divisions over sexuality and other issues. A large percentage of Anglicanism is thriving in the developing world, where more-conservative leaders have been unhappy with the Episcopal Church.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who attended Tuesday’s chapel consecration in Alexandria but declined interviews, has called Anglican leaders to a special meeting in January.

The Episcopal Church voted this summer to let gay couples marry in the church’s religious ceremonies, which Welby said “will cause distress for some and have ramifications for the Anglican Communion as a whole, as well as for its ecumenical and interfaith resolutions.”

January’s gathering of leaders includes a review of the worldwide Anglican Communion’s future.

Some believe that Curry’s election as presiding bishop could help lead the way into that future, in which the membership of the global church will probably keep growing more diverse.

“It could change the face of the Episcopal Church, which is — at least in the eyes of many — a largely white, upper-class denomination of people in power,” said the Rev. Adam Shoemaker of Church of the Holy Comforter in Burlington, N.C. “It will be significant now that we have a nonwhite presiding bishop to represent us to the rest of the church.”


1-10 of 15