What's Happening at Calvary

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Church Announcements

posted Dec 10, 2016, 12:55 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 12:54 PM ]











Our own Mr. Lonnie Hamilton III has been awarded the prestigious DEAN'S CROSS award by the Virginia Theological Seminary.

Established in November 2008, the Dean’s Cross award recognizes outstanding leaders who embody their baptismal vows to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.”  Selected annually by the Seminary Dean in consultation with the Chair of the Board, the Honorees receive a handmade silver cross, modeled after the Seminary Chapel cross, and a certificate.  

“Our work here at Virginia Seminary is formation,” said the Very Rev. Ian Markham, dean and president of Virginia Seminary, “and this award celebrates the well-formed life, which involves living out the values of the baptismal covenant and making a difference in society.”



                       
   Past Recipients of the award include:

   December 7, 2014
  • Ms. Madeleine Albright from Washington, D.C.
    Former (and the first female) Secretary of State of the United States of America

   December 6, 2015
  • Mrs. Barbara Bush from Houston, TX.
    Former First Lady of the United States of America




  • ON JULY 23, 2017, CALVARY CHURCH  WELCOMED MEMBERS OF ST. MARY'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH FROM WAYNE, PENNSYLVANIA
Fr. Joseph Smith, Rector, and Members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Wayne, PA  were in the Charleston area on July 23 for a mission trip with a group called Home Works. They worked primarily on John's Island, bringing around 22 youth and adults. Calvary extended our warmest welcome to these travelers to worship with us that Sunday. 

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This was a return visit for the Youth Group and group leaders of St. Mary's to do their mission work on John's Island. 
Follow the link below to see pictures from last  year's visit.


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Calvary's 170th Anniversary News ...

posted Jul 4, 2016, 6:42 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 10:03 PM ]


  THE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION RECAP - TWO DAYS OF CELEBRATION  

DAY 1:  SATURDAY, September 23, 2017
ANNIVERSARY LUNCHEON
North Charleston Marriott Hotel



   



The Reverend Canon Terence A. Lee was our Keynote Speaker on Saturday, September 23, 2017.  


Forgive me, I must tell you ...


Reverend Lee brought it home, y’all !!!

If  you missed it, you shouldn’t have … that’s all I’m saying.  There are no reruns and no recordings. He had us folk on our FEET, shoutin’ and rockin’... good times !!!


 
The Reverend Canon Terence Alexander Lee
Rector, St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church
Hollis, New York
   

Dr. Kendra Hamilton is an award winning writer living in Clinton, South Carolina. She was a presenter at the Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, September 23, 2017.


She read a poem that she wrote - an ode to Calvary and its heritage. We were awestruck … her delivery was powerful, her message was tender. She spoke to resilience in the face of challenges. The room fell silent. We heard her and we were moved. We wept for love and honor of those who have come before us, we wept for joy in the hopefulness that she inspired.  


You want to get a copy of that poem!!!



 
Kendra Hamilton, PhD
Assistant Professor of English and
Director of Southern Studies
Presbyterian College
Clinton, South Carolina

   


Ms. Carolyn Murray was the Mistress of Ceremony at the Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, September 23rd. She provided that sophistication and elegance that we’ve all come to expect when we hear that she will be on the mic.


A warm, heartfelt “Thank You” to Ms. Murray for an outstanding and well conducted program.


 
Ms. Carolyn Murray
News Anchor
WCBD Channel 2 Television
Charleston, South Carolina

   



The Lucas Sisters rocked the house with their spirit and their music. They wouldn’t be stopped - when the band had to leave the luncheon early and the Sisters had one more song to sing, they sang it a cappella - and still raised the roof !


OMG -- what a treat !!!


 
The Lucas Sisters

Reverend Rossilind Lucas Daniels

Mary Lucas Greer

Trudy B. Lucas

Minister Charles Miller 






DAY 2:  SUNDAY, September 24, 2017
ANNIVERSARY EUCHARIST CELEBRATION
Calvary Protestant Episcopal Church



 

Besides providing the Invocation and the Benediction at the Saturday Luncheon, The Reverend Barney Hawkins IV served as celebrant of the Eucharist and ministered to a full house on Sunday, September 24, 2017 (like the old days at Calvary).  He provided that spiritual balance that brought us "home" to our Calvary spirit.  


His was a message of forgiving the past and embracing our future.  It was timely, it was powerful, it was motivating.


Our anniversary presenters brought spiritual nourishment, and we FEASTED!!!


THANKS BE TO GOD !!!

 
 
The Reverend J. Barney Hawkins IV, PhD
Vice President for Institutional Advancement and
The Arthur Carl Lichtenberger Professor in Pastoral Theology 
and Continuing Education
Virginia Theological Seminary
Alexandria, Virginia




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

ECW TRIP TO HILTON HEAD - SHOPPING OUTLET MALL - Saturday, December 9, 2017

posted Jun 15, 2016, 4:07 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 27, 2017, 10:36 PM ]




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ORDINARY TIME,

posted Jun 15, 2016, 2:30 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 12, 2017, 3:18 PM ]


Ordinary Time

This term is used in the Roman Catholic Church to indicate the parts of the liturgical year that are not included in the major seasons of the church calendar. Ordinary time includes the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and the Monday after Pentecost through the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. A vigil or other service anticipating the First Sunday of Advent on the Saturday before that Sunday would also be included in the season of Advent. Ordinary time can be understood in terms of the living out of Christian faith and the meaning of Christ's resurrection in ordinary life. The term "ordinary time" is not used in the Prayer Book, but the season after Pentecost can be considered ordinary time. It may be referred to as the "green season," because green is the usual liturgical color for this period of the church year. The BCP provides numbered propers with collects and lectionary readings for the Sundays of the Season after Pentecost. The Epiphany season includes the Epiphany, the First Sunday after the Epiphany: the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Second Sunday through the Last Sunday after the Epiphany (BCP, p. 31). In view of the Epiphany themes that are presented throughout the Epiphany season, it should not be considered ordinary time. However, many parishes use green as the liturgical color for the Second Sunday through the Sunday prior to the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, and sometimes the Last Sunday after the Epiphany. Epiphany season and the season after Pentecost vary in length depending on the date of Easter (see BCP, pp. 884-885).

Source:  http://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/ordinary-time



Ordinary Time
Counted Time of the Church Year

Dennis Bratcher

Most of the Seasons of the Christian Church Year are organized around the two major festivals that mark sacred time, Christmas and Easter. The Christmas Season encompasses the time of preparation during Advent and the celebration of the Twelve Days of Christmas and Epiphany in early January (the 6th). The Easter Season encompasses the time of preparation during the 40 weekdays of Lent and Holy Week, and is linked with Pentecost Sunday 50 days later. While there are other individual holy days within the church year, these seasons mark the movement of sacred time within the church calendar.

The rest of the year following Epiphany and Pentecost is known as Ordinary Time. Rather than meaning "common" or "mundane," this term comes from the word "ordinal," which simply means counted time (First Sunday after Pentecost, etc.), which is probably a better way to think of this time of the year.  Counted time after Pentecost always begins with Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost) and ends with Christ the King Sunday or the Reign of Christ the King (last Sunday before the beginning of Advent).

Many Protestant church traditions consider the Sundays following Epiphany a season of Epiphany that runs until the beginning of Lent. Those traditions that follow the Roman Catholic calendar only count January 6th as Epiphany and do not think of a season of Epiphany, so consider the Sundays following part of Ordinary Time. In either case, the Sundays after Epiphany are counted (1st Sunday after Epiphany, etc.) so technically are Ordinary Time. However in most Protestant churches Ordinary Time usually refers to the Sundays after Pentecost Sunday and before the beginning of Advent.

The 33 or 34 Sundays of Ordinary Time after Pentecost (23 to 28 Sundays after Pentecost) are used to focus on various aspects of the Faith, especially the mission of the church in the world. The Lectionary readings for these Sundays tend to be semi-continuous readings through certain sections of Scripture, especially through the Synoptic Gospel of the year. However, many ministers use Ordinary Time to focus on specific themes of interest or importance to a local congregation rather than building sermons around the Lectionary readings. Even so, most pastors who observe the church year will continue to follow the Lectionary readings in public worship even if they are not the topic of the sermon in order to preserve the continuity of the spoken word of Scripture being heard by the congregation (see Word and Table).

The sanctuary color for Ordinary Time is dark green, although other shades of green are commonly used. Green has traditionally been associated with new life and growth. Even in Hebrew in the Old Testament, the same word for the color "green" also means "young."  In Christian tradition, green came to symbolize the life of the church following Pentecost, as well as symbolizing the hope of new life in the resurrection.

However, many churches introduce variety into the color scheme during this part of the year. Some churches use colors that match the décor of the church, so that the special seasons of the church year are marked by a change of color from the ordinary. Some churches coordinate parament colors with sanctuary banners that present various biblical themes during this part of the year. The most often used alternate colors for Ordinary Time are bronze or copper, olive, and aqua with maroon showing up occasionally.

Some church traditions only celebrate Pentecost Sunday and Trinity Sunday (the first Sunday after Pentecost), and then begin Ordinary Time with the Second Sunday after Pentecost that runs until Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday before the beginning of Advent. Other traditions observe a Pentecost Season extending for the eleven to sixteen Sundays (depending on the date of Easter) beginning with Pentecost Sunday and running through the next to last Sunday of August. Then beginning with the last Sunday of August, they count the remaining thirteen or fourteen Sundays until the beginning of Advent as Kingdomtide (in the Methodist tradition) or Dominiontide (in other churches), climaxing with the Christ the King Sunday. This serves to break up the long stretch of Ordinary Time following Pentecost into two seasons that can carry different emphases.  

The season of Pentecost usually focuses on the evangelical mission of the church to the world and its responsibility in carrying out that mission of proclamation. That emphasis often extends into Ordinary Time.  Some Protestant churches also celebrate Reformation Sunday (end of October) and All Saints Sunday (first Sunday in November). These are becoming increasingly popular ways to flesh out the themes of the Church in the World during Ordinary Time by focusing on heritage and the faithfulness of those in the past.  The season of Kingdomtide celebrates Christ as King and Sovereign of the world, emphasizing God's Dominion over all of creation.  The focus in this season is often on social justice and action as an expression of the Lordship of God over his people and the world.

-Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2016, Dennis Bratcher, All Rights Reserved

Daily Readings ...

posted May 23, 2016, 3:48 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 31, 2017, 10:37 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


Note: For the readings after Pentecost: the first reading pairs with the semi-continuous strand of texts; the second, with the complementary.




Sunday, October 29, 2017: Proper 25 (30)





Sunday, November 5, 2017: Proper 26 (31)

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.

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READINGS AND GOSPEL For Sunday, November 5, 2017

posted Mar 13, 2016, 11:55 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 31, 2017, 10:32 AM ]




Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost

Occasion: Proper 26
Sunday, November 05, 2017
Year (cycle): A

The Collect: 

Almighty and merciful God, it is only by your gift that your faithful people offer you true and laudable service: Grant that we may run without stumbling to obtain your heavenly promises; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Joshua 3:7-17 [Alternate: Micah 3:5-12]

The Lord said to Joshua, ‘This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. 8You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, “When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.” ’ 9Joshua then said to the Israelites, ‘Draw near and hear the words of the Lord your God.’ 10Joshua said, ‘By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to pass before you into the Jordan. 12So now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a single heap.’

14 When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. 15Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing towards the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.

Alternate:
Micah 3:5-12

5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets
   who lead my people astray,
who cry ‘Peace’
   when they have something to eat,
but declare war against those
   who put nothing into their mouths.
6 Therefore it shall be night to you, without vision,
   and darkness to you, without revelation.
The sun shall go down upon the prophets,
   and the day shall be black over them;
7 the seers shall be disgraced,
   and the diviners put to shame;
they shall all cover their lips,
   for there is no answer from God.
8 But as for me, I am filled with power,
   with the spirit of the Lord,
   and with justice and might,
to declare to Jacob his transgression
   and to Israel his sin.

9 Hear this, you rulers of the house of Jacob
   and chiefs of the house of Israel,
who abhor justice
   and pervert all equity,
10 who build Zion with blood
   and Jerusalem with wrong!
11 Its rulers give judgement for a bribe,
   its priests teach for a price,
   its prophets give oracles for money;
yet they lean upon the Lord and say,
   ‘Surely the Lord is with us!
   No harm shall come upon us.’
12 Therefore because of you
   Zion shall be ploughed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
   and the mountain of the house a wooded height.

Psalm: 
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 [Alternate: Psalm 43]

1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, *
       and his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let all those whom the Lord has redeemed proclaim *
       that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
3 He gathered them out of the lands; *
       from the east and from the west,
       from the north and from the south.
4 Some wandered in desert wastes; *
       they found no way to a city where they might dwell.
5 They were hungry and thirsty; *
       their spirits languished within them.
6 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, *
       and he delivered them from their distress.
7 He put their feet on a straight path *
       to go to a city where they might dwell.
33 The Lord changed rivers into deserts, *
       and water-springs into thirsty ground,
34 A fruitful land into salt flats, *
       because of the wickedness of those who dwell there.
35 He changed deserts into pools of water *
       and dry land into water-springs.
36 He settled the hungry there, *
       and they founded a city to dwell in.
37 They sowed fields, and planted vineyards, *
       and brought in a fruitful harvest.

Alternate: 
Psalm 43

1 Give judgment for me, O God,
  and defend my cause against an ungodly people; *
       deliver me from the deceitful and the wicked.
2 For you are the God of my strength;
  why have you put me from you? *
       and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?
3 Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, *
       and bring me to your holy hill
       and to your dwelling;
4 That I may go to the altar of God,
  to the God of my joy and gladness; *
       and on the harp I will give thanks to you, O God my God.
5 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? *
       and why are you so disquieted within me?
6 Put your trust in God; *
       for I will yet give thanks to him,
       who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Epistle: 
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13

You remember our labour and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 10You are witnesses, and God also, how pure, upright, and blameless our conduct was towards you believers. 11As you know, we dealt with each one of you like a father with his children, 12urging and encouraging you and pleading that you should lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.

Gospel: 
Matthew 23:1-12

1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practise what they teach. 4They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have people call them rabbi. 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

The Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels readings are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

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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 Aug 1, 2017, 9:02 AM ]







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.






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'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.
Marlene 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.
 

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 Oct 5, 2017, 10:43 AM ]

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Bishop Adams and Bishop WolfeThe 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.”

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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 Aug 1, 2017, 8:36 AM ]


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 Aug 1, 2017, 8:54 AM ]


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.”


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