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

Installation of our new Provisional Bishop - Bishop Skip Adams

posted Jul 4, 2016, 6:42 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Sep 19, 2016, 1:34 PM ]


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

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.

226th Annual Diocesan Convention of the ECSC, November 11-12, 2016

posted Jun 15, 2016, 4:07 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Sep 19, 2016, 1:01 PM ]

​The 226th Annual Diocesan Convention 
of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina


Call to Convention
November 11-12

"Seek and Serve Christ"
Notice is hereby given that the Annual Convention of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina will be held at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, South Carolina on November 11-12, 2016. Our theme will be “Seek and Serve Christ.”

We are delighted to have the Reverend Winnie Varghese, Director of Justice and Reconciliation for Trinity Church Wall Street, NY, as our Convention Preacher and WORKshop keynote speaker. Winnie has a huge heart for mission and social justice, challenging Trinity to go deeper into mission commitments and engage in new opportunities. She has been a priest for 15 years, serving parishes and as a college chaplain. 

​As usual, diocesan convention this year will present opportunities to accomplish two primary goals: to do the necessary work for our diocese at its annual convention and to participate in the annual reunion of the people of The Episcopal Church in South Carolina.

Convention WORKshops: On the Friday of Convention this year we plan to live out our theme by spending a day at several sites in the community, giving back and serving others. We will gather Friday morning to hear from our keynote speaker, the Rev. Winnie Varghese, Director of Community Outreach for Trinity Wall Street, and then go forth to "Seek and Serve Christ" at our Convention WORKshops. There will be outreach locations for all skill and activity levels.  There will be an opportunity to gather again in the afternoon to pray and reflect on the day.

Four Deanery Meetings are being scheduled prior to Convention. These meetings are to include all clergy, delegates and alternates for the Fall 2016 Convention. Attendance at these meetings is important, as they are the venue for:
  • Discussion of the 2017 program and budget
  • Introduction of nominees for diocesan offices
  • Proposed resolutions
West Charleston Deanery
Sunday, October 2 at 3 pm at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, Summerville

Southern Deanery
Saturday, October 8 at 10 am at Christ Church, Denmark

Peninsula Deanery
Wednesday, October 12 at 6:30 pm at Calvary, Charleston

Pee Dee-Waccamaw Deanery
Sunday, October 16 at 3 pm at St. Catherine’s, Florence
If you cannot attend the meeting scheduled for your deanery, you are welcome to attend another one.

Preliminary Convention Schedule
(subject to change prior to November 11)
Friday, November 11

8:00 a.m. Check-in and registration begins at St Thomas Episcopal Church, North Charleston
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Outreach Presentation at St. Thomas Episcopal Church
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. WORKshops (bag lunches will be provided)
3:00 p.m. Registration Opens at Grace Church Cathedral
3:30-5:30 p.m. Break-Out Informational Sessions
  • Budget
  • Resolutions Committee meeting
  • Constitution & Canons
  • Meet the Nominees
 6:00 p.m. Call to Order, followed immediately by Convention Eucharist. The Reverend Winnie Varghese, Preacher; and the Right Reverend Skip Adams, Celebrant.
7:30 p.m. Welcoming Reception. Beverages and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served (included with delegate and visitor registration).

Saturday, November 12

8:00 a.m. Late registration/check-in. Coffee and light breakfast (included with registration)
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer followed by morning business session.
12:00 p.m. (or as business allows) Box Lunches served (included with registration)
1:00 p.m. (or as business allows) Afternoon business session and concluding worship. 

Elections at Convention

The Convention will hold elections for the following positions:
  • Standing Committee: 2 lay members and 2 clergy members, a 3-year term
  • Diocesan Council: 2 lay members and 2 clergy members, a 3-year term
  • University of the South Board of Trustees: 1 lay member (3 year term)
  • General Convention 2018 deputies: 4 clergy members (4 alternates), 4 lay members (4 alternates)
All nominations must have the approval of the person being nominated, and must be received by the Secretary of Convention by Monday, September 12, 2016, in order to be included in pre-convention materials. A Notice of Election and Nomination Form are available online.


Members of the Diocese are invited to submit resolutions for consideration at the Convention. These must follow the format and guidelines described in the Notice of Submittal of Resolutions. All resolutions must be received by the Secretary of Convention no later than Monday, September 12, 2016, in order to be included in pre-convention materials.  

Resolutions affecting the Constitution and Canons must be submitted to the Committee on Constitutions and Canons. These also must be received by September 12, 2016. All may be submitted to convention@episcopalchurchsc.org

Registration Procedures

Each Parish and Mission is asked to register online this year, and register all their delegates, alternates and clergy at one time. Clergy who are not directly affiliated with a delegation may register individually. Visitors may register with the delegation or on their own. The Online Registration Link can be found at www.episcopalchurchsc.org. Registration cost is $75 per delegate, $50 per visitor, $25 for Friday night Eucharist and reception only. Payment may made online or sent to the Diocesan Office by mail. 

Registration materials for clergy and delegates must be received by the diocesan office by 12:00 pm Monday, October 3.

Registration for the Friday WORKshops is $25.00. Attendance is encouraged, but optional. These WORKshops are open to everyone in the diocese. Lay leaders in parishes and missions are encouraged to attend, as well as clergy and delegates who are attending the Convention. Registration includes lunch and a t-shirt. Forms are on the website. Please register by Wednesday, October 17, 2016.

Visitors, including the news media, are welcome to attend all convention events, but must be registered in advance by October 17. A visitor registration charge of $50 is required for meals and printed materials.

Hotel Accommodations and Guest Lodging

Clergy and delegates are responsible for making their own arrangements for lodging, if needed.

Rooms at several price-points have been reserved for the Convention on November 10, 11, and 12. To secure these special Convention rates, contact these hotels directly by October 9. (The reserved rooms will be released after that time and the rates may not be honored.) If you need financial assistance, please contact the Diocesan Office.

A list of hotel rates and contact information can be found here.

+     +     +

I look forward to welcoming you to Convention in November.

Peace in Christ,


The Venerable Calhoun Walpole, Archdeacon
Secretary of Convention

The location for the
226th Annual Convention:
Grace Church Cathedral

98 Wentworth St.
Charleston, SC 29401
Website: gracechurchcharleston.org
Map & Directions

Responding to Orlando, and remembering Emanuel

posted Jun 15, 2016, 2:30 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jun 15, 2016, 2:58 PM ]

Dear Friends,

​ As we remember the killings at Mother Emanuel one year ago, we now encounter another indication of the pervasive power of hatred, in Orlando. Because of our experience, we have a window through which to see the Florida tragedy. The view may be different, the landscape may have changed, but the setting of hatred's power is the same.

In response to this encounter with hate, though, we remember the example of the families of Emanuel's victims, who followed the example of Jesus himself. That example, of course, leads inextricably to love.  And, from the time of the cross, hatred loses its power when confronted by love.

The families of Emanuel knew this. The families of Orlando will come to know the same, I pray. May we all learn that lesson from our Lord, even in the pain, grief, and anger cultivated by hatred. Love will have the final word, for love is of God... and God is love.

The Right Reverend Charles G. vonRosenberg

A Prayer for Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP p. 815)

Updated 6/14/2016 at 3 pm:
Here are some events that have been planned in response to the Orlando massacre, and to remember those lost at Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015.

As information about others becomes available, we will update this blog post, and share on our diocesan Facebook page.

June 14: North Charleston
Everyone is invited to attend a Prayer Vigil at Park Circle in North Charleston beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Gazebo. Parking will be available at Park Circle, or you can park at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

June 14: Beaufort
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Port Royal is encouraging those in the Beaufort area to attend a vigil in Beaufort's Waterfront Park at 7:00 p.m.

June 16: Beaufort

St. Mark's, Port Royal will participate in the Mother Emanuel Nine Annual Memorial Service: "Remembering, Uplifting, Moving Forward" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16 at Grace Chapel AME Church, 502 Charles St., Beaufort. The event is sponsored by the Beaufort Unified Interfaith Community Coalition and all are welcome.

June 19: Holy Communion, Charleston
The 10:30 Mass intention for Sunday, June 19 at Church of the Holy Communion will be in remembrance of the violence at Mother Emanuel AME church last year and to honor the lives violently lost on Saturday in Orlando, and to honor those who mourn. 

June 16: St. Anne's, Conway
On Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m.St. Anne's, Conway will hold a Memorial Eucharist with Fr. Father Barry Stopfel and Deacon Rob Donehue presiding. The service will be at the Lackey Chapel is located at the corner of University Boulevard and University Drive on the Coastal Carolina University campus. All are welcome.
June 19: Grand Strand
The Rev. Dr. Wilmot T. Merchant II, Rector of  St. Stephen's North Myrtle Beach, will be the preacher as the Upper Grand Strand Ministerial Alliance holds an Ecumenical Memorial Service at 2:00 p.m. to remember the Charleston Nine. The service will be at St. Paul’s AME Church in Little River on Highway 17 next to the Little River Post Office.


Daily Readings ...

posted May 23, 2016, 3:48 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 17, 2016, 12:51 PM ]

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

Proper 24 (29), October 16, 2016- Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost


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.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's visit to Calvary on April 9, 2016 ...

posted Mar 13, 2016, 11:55 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated May 5, 2016, 12:57 PM ]

Calvary members greet Presiding Bishop Curry at the Neighborhood Block Party

Saturday, April 9, 2016




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)
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

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)


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:
Facebook: facebook.com/EFofSC


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 Oct 12, 2016, 11:15 AM ]

The Gathering at the Table group was formed through the initiative of Father Michael Burton.  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, the group has bonded and grown in their commitment.  They continue to meet after 20 weeks, entertaining lively and healing discussions.  All are invited and encouraged to attend.


'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.

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

posted Oct 26, 2015, 8:07 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 17, 2016, 12:58 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


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.”

Feast of St James of Jerusalem: Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, & Martyr, c.62 - Oct 24, 2016

posted Oct 23, 2015, 9:04 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Oct 17, 2016, 12:42 PM ]

Saint James of Jerusalem: Brother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and Martyr, c. 62

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Collect: 

Rite I:
Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Rite II:
Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

First Lesson: 
Acts 15:12-22a

12 The whole assembly kept silence, and listened to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13After they finished speaking, James replied, ‘My brothers, listen to me. 14Simeon has related how God first looked favourably on the Gentiles, to take from among them a people for his name. 15This agrees with the words of the prophets, as it is written,
16 “After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
   from its ruins I will rebuild it,
     and I will set it up,
17 so that all other peoples may seek the Lord—
   even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called.
     Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things 18known from long ago.”
19Therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God, 20but we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication and from whatever has been strangled and from blood. 21For in every city, for generations past, Moses has had those who proclaim him, for he has been read aloud every sabbath in the synagogues.’

22 Then the apostles and the elders, with the consent of the whole church, decided to choose men from among their members and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.

Psalm 1

1 Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, *
       nor lingered in the way of sinners,
       nor sat in the seats of the scornful!
2 Their delight is in the law of the Lord, *
       and they meditate on his law day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water,
  bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither; *
       everything they do shall prosper.
4 It is not so with the wicked; *
       they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes, *
       nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, *
       but the way of the wicked is doomed.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

1 Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

Matthew 13:54-58

54 He came to his home town and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? 55Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?’ 57And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.’ 58And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.

James, brother of Jesus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"James the Just" redirects here. For other uses, see James II of Aragon.
Saint James the Just.jpg
Icon of James
Apostle[1] and Martyr, Adelphotheos
Born unknown
Died 69 AD (Hegesippus, Clement of Alexandria, and Eusebius of Caesarea)[2]
Venerated in All Christianity
Canonized Pre-congregation
Feast May 3 (Roman Catholic), May 1 (Anglican), October 23 (Lutheran), (Episcopal Church (USA)), (Eastern Orthodox), December 26 (Eastern Orthodox)
Attributes Fuller's club; man holding a book
Controversy There is disagreement about the exact relationship to Jesus. James is sometimes identified with James, son of Alphaeus and James the Less.

James (Hebrew: יעקב Ya'akov; Greek Ίάκωβος Iákōbos, can also be Anglicized as Jacob), who died in martyrdom in 62 or 69 AD, was an important figure of the Apostolic Age. Other epithets used to refer to James include James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord. Roman Catholic tradition generally holds that this James is to be identified with James, son of Alphaeus, and James the Less.[3] It is agreed by most that he should not be confused with James, son of Zebedee.[1]

Catholics and Orthodox, as well as some Anglicans and Lutherans, believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary;[4][5][6] they teach that James, along with others named in the New Testament as "brothers" (Greek: ἀδελφοὶ, translit. adelphoi, lit. 'brothers')[7] of Jesus, were not the biological children of Mary, but were possibly cousins of Jesus[8] or step-brothers from a previous marriage of Joseph.


As a bishop of Jerusalem

In a 4th-century letter pseudographically ascribed[9] to the 1st century Clement of Rome, James was called the "bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of Hebrews, and all assemblies everywhere".[10] Hegesippus, in his fifth book of his Commentaries, mentions that James was made a bishop of Jerusalem but he does not mention by whom: "After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem."[11] But, like the rest of the early Christians, information about his life is scarce and ambiguous. Clement of Alexandria wrote in the sixth book of his Hypotyposes that James the Just was chosen as a bishop of Jerusalem by Peter, James (the Greater) and John: "For they say that Peter and James and John after the ascension of our Saviour, as if also preferred by our Lord, strove not after honor, but chose James the Just bishop of Jerusalem." But the same writer, in the seventh book of the same work, relates also the following concerning him: "The Lord after his resurrection imparted knowledge (gnōsin) to James the Just and to John and Peter, and they imparted it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the seventy, of whom Barnabas was one."[12]

According to Eusebius James was named a bishop of Jerusalem by the apostles: "James, the brother of the Lord, to whom the episcopal seat at Jerusalem had been entrusted by the apostles".[13] Jerome wrote the same: "James... after our Lord's passion.. ordained by the apostles bishop of Jerusalem..." and that James "ruled the church of Jerusalem thirty years".[14]

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church claims that James the Just was "from an early date with Peter a leader of the Church at Jerusalem and from the time when Peter left Jerusalem after Herod's attempt to kill him, James appears as the principal authority who presided at Council of Jerusalem".[15]

Apart from a handful of references in the synoptic Gospels, the main sources for the life of James the Just are the Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline epistles, Eusebius and Jerome, who also quote the early Christian chronicler Hegesippus and Epiphanius.[16] James is a principal author of the Apostolic Decree of Acts 15, and the Epistle of James in the New Testament is traditionally attributed to him. In the extant lists of Pseudo-Hippolytus of Rome,[17] Dorotheus of Tyre, the Chronicon Paschale, and Dimitry of Rostov, he is the first of the Seventy Apostles though some sources, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia,[18] state that "these lists are unfortunately worthless".

Possible identity with James, son of Alphaeus

Jerome believed that the "brothers" of the Lord were Jesus' cousins, thus amplifying the doctrine of perpetual virginity. Jerome concluded that James "the brother of the Lord", (Galatians 1:19) is therefore James, son of Alphaeus, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and the son of Mary Cleophas.[3]

In two small but potentially important works of Hippolytus, On the Twelve Apostles of Christ and On the Seventy Apostles of Christ, he relates the following:

And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.[19]

James, the brother of Jesus was also stoned to death by the Jews. With this testimony of Hippolytus there is good reason to assume that James the son of Alphaeus is the same person as James the brother of Jesus.[citation needed]

These two works of Hippolytus are often neglected because the manuscripts were lost during most of the church age and then found in Greece in the 19th century. As most scholars consider them spurious, they are often ascribed to Pseudo-Hippolytus. The two are included in an appendix to the works of Hippolytus in the voluminous collection of Early Church Fathers.[20]

According to the surviving fragments of the work Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord of the Apostolic Father Papias of Hierapolis, who lived c. 70–163 AD, Cleophas and Alphaeus are the same person, and Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus would be the mother of James the brother of Jesus, and of Simon and Judas (Thaddeus), and of one Joseph.

(1) Mary the mother of the Lord; (2) Mary the wife of Cleophas or Alphaeus, who was the mother of James the bishop and apostle, and of Simon and Thaddeus, and of one Joseph; (3) Mary Salome, wife of Zebedee, mother of John the evangelist and James; (4) Mary Magdalene. These four are found in the Gospel...(Fragment X)[21]

Thus James, the brother of the Lord would be the son of Alphaeus, who is the husband of Mary the wife of Cleophas or Mary the wife of Alphaeus. For the Anglican theologian J.B. Lightfoot this fragment quoted above would be spurious.[22][23]

Possible identity with James the Less

Jerome also concluded that James "the brother of the Lord" is the same as James the Less. To explain this, Jerome first tells that James the Less must be identified with James, the son of Alphaeus, and reports in his work The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary the following:

Do you intend the comparatively unknown James the Less, who is called in Scripture the son of Mary, not however of Mary the mother of our Lord, to be an apostle, or not? If he is an apostle, he must be the son of Alphæus and a believer in Jesus

The only conclusion is that the Mary, who is described as the mother of James the Less was the wife of Alphæus and sister of Mary the Lord's mother, the one who is called by John the Evangelist "Mary of Clopas"[24]:F.15

After saying that James the Less is the same as James, the son of Mary of Cleophas, wife of Alphaeus and sister of Mary the Lord's mother, Jerome describes in his work De Viris Illustribus that James "the brother of the Lord" is the same as James, the son of Alpaheus and Mary of Cleophas:

James, who is called the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just, the son of Joseph by another wife, as some think, but, as appears to me, the son of Mary sister of the mother our Lord Mary of Cleophas of whom John makes mention in his book.(John 19:25)[14]

Thus, Jerome concludes that James, the son of Alphaeus, James the Less, and James, brother of the Lord, are one and the same person.


Eusebius records that Clement of Alexandria related, "This James, whom the people of old called the Just because of his outstanding virtue, was the first, as the record tells us, to be elected to the episcopal throne of the Jerusalem church."[25][26][27][28][29] Other epithets are "James the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just,"[11] and "James the Righteous."

He is sometimes referred to in Eastern Christianity as "James Adelphotheos" (Greek: Iάκωβος ο Αδελφόθεος) (James the Brother of God). The oldest surviving Christian liturgy, the Liturgy of St James, uses this epithet.[30]

Jameses in the New Testament

The New Testament mentions several people named James. The Pauline Epistles, from about the sixth decade of the 1st century, has two passages mentioning a James. The Acts of the Apostles, written sometime between 60 and 150 AD,[31] also describes the period before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. It has three mentions of a James. The Gospels, with disputed datings ranging from about 50 to as late as 130 AD, describe the period of Jesus' ministry, around 30-33 AD. It mentions at least two different people named James. The author of the Epistle of Jude notes that he is a brother of James in that epistle's opening paragraph.

Paul's epistles

Paul mentions meeting James "the Lord's brother" (τὸν ἀδελφὸν τοῦ κυρίου) and later calls him a pillar (στύλοι) in the Epistle to the Galatians:[32]

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days. But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother. (In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie!) Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. ...Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. ...Yet because of false brothers secretly brought in—who slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery—to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you. And from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, I say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. On the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised (for he who worked through Peter for his apostolic ministry to the circumcised worked also through me for mine to the Gentiles), and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. (Galatians 1:18-2:10)

A "James" is mentioned in Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, as one to whom Jesus appeared after his resurrection:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1Corinthians 15:3–8)

Acts of the Apostles

There is a James mentioned in Acts, which the Catholic Encyclopedia identifies with James, the brother of Jesus: "but he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go show these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. (Acts 12:17)

James is also an authority in the early church at the Council of Jerusalem (James is quoting Amos 9:11–12):

And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (Acts 15:13–21)

After this, there is only one more mention of James in Acts, meeting with Paul shortly before Paul's arrest: "And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. (Acts 21:17–18)


The Synoptic Gospels, similarly to the Epistle to the Galatians, recognize a core group of three disciples (Peter, John and James) having the same names as those given by Paul. In the list of the disciples found in the Gospels, two disciples whose names are James, the son of Alphaeus and James, son of Zebedee are mentioned in the list of the twelve disciples: (Matthew 10:1–4)

And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

The Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew also mention a James as Jesus' brother: "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.":[3] The Gospel of John never mentions anyone called James, but mentions Jesus' unnamed "brothers" as being present with Mary when Jesus attended the wedding at Cana (John 2:12), and later that his brothers did not believe in him (John 7:5). He's also mentioned in the Gospel of Thomas. 12 "The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

James, son of Mary

A Mary is also later mentioned as the mother of James, the younger and of Joseph in the Gospel of Mark

Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. (Mark 15:40)

On the other hand, another Mary is mentioned as the mother of a James and of a Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew and in the Gospel of Mark.

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. (Mark 16:1)

Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's sons. (Matthew 27:56).

Roman Catholic interpretation generally holds that James, the younger is the same James mentioned in Mark 16:1 and Matthew 27:56 and it is to be identified with James, the son of Alphaeus and James, the brother of Jesus.[3]

Other sources

The Jerusalem Church

Fragment X of Papias (writing in the second century) refers to "James the bishop and apostle".[21] According to Eusebius, the Jerusalem church escaped to Pella during the siege of Jerusalem by the future Emperor Titus in 70 and afterwards returned, having a further series of Jewish bishops until the Bar Kokhba revolt in 130. Following the second destruction of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the city as Aelia Capitolina, subsequent bishops were Greeks.[33] The evidence of Eusebius is confirmed by the account of the Bordeaux Pilgrim.[34]

According to Orthodox tradition, St. James's current successor to the Church of Jerusalem is Patriarch Theophilus III.

James as an apostle

The Encyclopedia Britannica relates that "James the Lord's brother was a Christian apostle, according to St. Paul, although not one of the original Twelve Apostles."[1] According to Jerome James, the Lord’s brother was an apostle too and quotes Scriptures as a proof in his work The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary writing the following:

Notice, moreover, that the Lord's brother is an apostle, since Paul says «Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and tarried with him fifteen days. But other of the Apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.»(Galatians 1:18-19) And in the same Epistle «And when they perceived the grace that was given unto me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars,» (Galatians 2:9)[24]:F.15

Clement of Alexandria places James as one of the apostles by saying "The Lord after his resurrection imparted knowledge to James the Just and to John and Peter, and they imparted it to the rest of the apostles and the rest of the apostles to the seventy"[12]

Early Christian apocrypha

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Some apocryphal gospels testify to the reverence Jewish followers of Jesus had for James. The Gospel of the Hebrews confirms the account of Paul in 1 Corinthians regarding the risen Jesus' appearance to James,[14] and this is mentioned also by the Gospel of Thomas (one of the works included in the Nag Hammadi library), saying 12, which relates that the disciples asked Jesus, after his resurrections and before his Ascension, "We are aware that you will depart from us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you come [from] it is to James the Just that you shall go, for whose sake heaven and earth have come to exist."[35] Epiphanius (Panarion 29.4) describes James as a Nazirite.[36]

The pseudepigraphical First Apocalypse of James associated with James's name mentions many details, some of which may reflect early traditions: he is said to have authority over the twelve apostles and the early church; claims that James and Jesus are not biological brothers; this work also adds, somewhat puzzlingly, that James left Jerusalem and fled to Pella, Jordan before the Roman siege of that city in 70. (Ben Witherington suggests what is meant by this was that James's bones were taken by the early Christians who had fled from Jerusalem).[citation needed]

The pseudepigraphical Second Apocalypse of James names James's father Theudas rather than Joseph, who is presented as the biological father of James by the mid 2nd century Protevangelium of James.[37]

The Apocryphon of James, the sole copy of which was found in the Nag Hammadi library and which may have been written in Egypt in the 3rd century,[38] recounts a post-resurrection appearance of the risen Christ to James and Peter that James is said to have recorded in Hebrew. In the dialogue, Peter speaks twice (3:12; 9:1) but misunderstands Jesus. Only James is addressed by name (6:20), and James is the more dominant of the two.[citation needed]

The apocryphal Gospel of Philip seems to list a Mary as a sister of Jesus without specifying whether she is the daughter of Mary and Joseph or the daughter of Joseph by a previous marriage.

The Gospel of James (or "Infancy Gospel of James"), a work of the 2nd century, also presents itself as written by James – a sign that his authorship would lend authority – and so do several tractates in the codices found at Nag Hammadi.[citation needed]

Relationship to Jesus

Jesus' brothers – James as well as Jude, Simon and Joses – are named in Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3 and mentioned elsewhere. James's name always appears first in lists, which suggests he was the eldest among them.[39] In the passage in Josephus' Jewish Antiquities (20.9.1), the Jewish historian describes James as "the brother of Jesus who is called Christ."

Interpretation of the phrase "brother of the Lord" and similar phrases is divided between those who believe that Mary had some children and those (Roman Catholics, Eastern Christianity, and some Protestants, such as many Anglicans and Lutherans) who hold the perpetual virginity of Mary. The only Catholic doctrine which has been defined regarding the "brothers of the Lord" is that they are not biological children of Mary;[8] thus, Catholics do not consider them as siblings of Jesus.

Younger half-brother, son of Mary and Joseph

The New Testament says that Jesus was miraculously conceived and born of a virgin, and Jesus is referred to as the "first-born son" of Mary, so James and the other "brothers" of Jesus are considered by some people as younger half-brothers. Helvidius seems to be the first man to say (c. 380) that Mary had children other than Jesus.[40] Jerome asserts in his tract The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary, as an answer to Helvidius, that the term first-born was used to refer to any offspring that opened the womb, rather than definitely implying other children.[24]

Luke's reporting of the visit of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to the Temple of Jerusalem when Jesus was 12 years old makes no reference to any of Jesus' half-brothers. Robert Eisenman, however, is of the belief that Luke, as a close follower of Pauline Gentile Christianity, sought to minimise the importance of Jesus' family by whatever means possible, editing James and Jesus' brothers out of the Gospel record.[41] Karl Keating argues that Mary and Joseph rushed without hesitation straight back to Jerusalem, when they realized Jesus was lost, which they would surely have thought twice about doing if there were other children (Jesus' siblings) to look after.[40]

Younger half-brother, son of Mary and a second husband

A variant on this is presented by James Tabor,[39] who argues that after the early and childless death of Joseph, Mary married Clopas, whom he accepts as a younger brother of Joseph, according to the Levirate law. According to this view, Clopas fathered James and the later siblings, but not Jesus.

John Dominic Crossan suggested that James was probably Jesus' older brother.[42]

Older stepbrother, son of Joseph by an earlier marriage

The Protevangelium of James says that Mary was betrothed to an older relative in order to preserve her virginity and that Joseph already had children. In this case, James was one of Joseph's children from his previous marriage and, therefore, Jesus' stepbrother.

The bishop of Salamis, Epiphanius, wrote too in his work The Panarion (AD 374-375) that "...James (brother of Jesus) was Joseph's son by Joseph's first wife, not by Mary..."[43] He adds that Joseph became the father of James and his three brothers (Joses, Simeon, Judah) and two sisters (a Salome and a Mary) or (a Salome and an Anna)[44] with James being the elder sibling. James and his siblings were not children of Mary but were children from a previous marriage. After Joseph's first wife died, many years later when he was eighty, "he took Mary (mother of Jesus)". According to Epiphanius the Scriptures call them "brothers of the Lord" to confound their opponents.[45][46]

One argument supporting this view is that it would have been against Jewish custom for Jesus to give his mother to the care of John (who is not at all suspected to be a blood relative of Jesus) if Mary had other living sons. This is because the eldest son would take responsibility for his mother after the death of her husband; any other sons of Mary should have taken on this responsibility if they existed, therefore arguing against a direct natural brother relationship.[40][47]

Also, Aramaic and Hebrew tended to use circumlocutions to point out blood relationships; it is asserted that just calling some people "brothers of Jesus" would not have necessarily implied the same mother.[48] Rather, something like "sons of the mother of Jesus" would have been used to indicate a common mother. Scholars and theologians who assert this point out that Jesus was called "the son of Mary" rather than "a son of Mary" in his hometown (Mark 6:3).[3]

Cousin, son of a sister of Mary

James, along with the others named "brothers" of Jesus, are said by others to have been Jesus' cousins. This is justified by the fact that cousins were also called "brothers" and "sisters" in Jesus' native language, Aramaic, which, like Biblical Hebrew, does not contain a word for cousin.[49] Furthermore, the Greek words adelphos and adelphe were not restricted to their literal meaning of a full brother or sister in the Bible, nor were their plurals.[48]

Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 275 – 339) reports the tradition that James the Just was the son of Joseph's brother Clopas and therefore was of the "brothers" (which he interprets as "cousin") of Jesus described in the New Testament.

This is echoed by Jerome (c. 342 – 419) in De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men) – James is said to be the son of another Mary, wife of Clopas and the "sister" of Mary, the mother of Jesus – in the following manner:

James, who is called the brother of the Lord, surnamed the Just, the son of Joseph by another wife, as some think, but, as appears to me, the son of Mary, sister of the mother of our Lord of whom John makes mention in his book...[14]

Jerome refers to the scene of the crucifixion in John 19:25, where three women named Mary – Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene – are said to be witnesses. John also mentions the "sister" of the mother of Jesus, often identified with Mary of Clopas due to grammar. Mary "of Clopas" is often interpreted as Mary, "wife of Clopas". Mary of Nazareth and Mary of Clopas also need not be literally sisters, in light of the usage of the said words in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic.[3]

Mary of Clopas is suggested to be the same as "Mary, the mother of James the younger and Joses", "Mary the mother of James and Joseph" and the "other Mary" in Jesus' crucifixion and post-resurrection accounts in the Synoptic Gospels. Proponents of this identification argue that the writers of the Synoptics would have called this Mary, simply, "the mother of Jesus" if she was indeed meant to be the mother of Jesus, given the importance of her son's crucifixion and resurrection: they also note that the mother of James and Joses is called "Maria", whereas the mother of Jesus is "Mariam" or "Marias" in Greek. These proponents find it unlikely that Mary would be referred to by her natural children other than Jesus at such a significant time (James happens to be the brother of one Joses, as spelled in Mark, or Joseph, as in Matthew).[48][50]

Jerome's opinion suggests an identification of James the Just with the Apostle James, son of Alphaeus; Clopas and Alphaeus are thought to be different Greek renderings of the same Aramaic name Halphai.[48] Despite this, some biblical scholars tend to distinguish them; this is also not Roman Catholic dogma, though a traditional teaching.

Since this Clopas is, according to Eusebius, Joseph of Nazareth's brother (see above) and this Mary is said to be Mary of Nazareth's sister, James could be related to Jesus by blood and law.[3]

Other relationships

Also, Jesus and James could be related in some other way, not strictly "cousins", following the non-literal application of the term adelphos and the Aramaic term for brother.[48] According to the apocryphal First Apocalypse of James, James is not the earthly brother of Jesus, but a spiritual brother[51] who according to the Gnostics "received secret knowledge from Jesus prior to the Passion".[52]


There is no mention of James in the Gospel of John and the early portions of the Acts of the Apostles. The Synoptics mention his name, but no further information. However, the later chapters of the Acts of the Apostles provide evidence that James was an important figure in the Christian community of Jerusalem.

Paul further describes James as being one of the persons to whom the risen Christ showed himself (1 Corinthians 15:3–8); later in 1 Corinthians, Paul suggests "the brothers of the Lord" could have been married (9:5); and in Galatians, Paul lists James with Cephas (better known as Peter) and John the Apostle as the three "pillars" of the Church (2:9)[53] who will minister to the "circumcised" (in general Jews and Jewish Proselytes) in Jerusalem, while Paul and his fellows will minister to the "uncircumcised" (in general Gentiles) (2:12).[54] These terms (circumcised/uncircumcised) are generally interpreted to mean Jews and Greeks, who were predominant; however, this is an oversimplification, as 1st-century Judaea Province also had some Jews who no longer circumcised and some Greeks and others such as Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Arabs who did.

He seems to have taken the place of James the son of Zebedee, after his martyrdom, around 44 AD.[30] When Peter, having miraculously escaped from prison, must flee Jerusalem due to Herod Agrippa's persecution, he asks that James be informed (Acts 12:17).

When the Christians of Antioch were concerned over whether Gentile Christians need be circumcised to be saved, they sent Paul and Barnabas to confer with the Jerusalem church. James was the local head of the oldest church and the leader of the most conservative portion of Jewish Christianity.[30] He played a prominent role in the formulation of the council's decision. James was the last named figure to speak, after Peter, Paul, and Barnabas; he delivered what he called his "decision" (Acts 15:19 NRSV) – the original sense is closer to "opinion".[55] He supported them all in being against the requirement (Peter had cited his earlier revelation from God regarding Gentiles) and suggested prohibitions about eating blood as well as meat sacrificed to idols and fornication. There is a view that 'strangled' and 'blood' in the texts refer to foreskin conditions - paraphimosis and ruptured frenulum, respectively.[56] This became the ruling of the Council, agreed upon by all the apostles and elders and sent to the other churches by letter.

When Paul arrives in Jerusalem to deliver the money he raised for the faithful there, it is to James that he speaks, and it is James who insists that Paul ritually cleanse himself at Herod's Temple to prove his faith and deny rumors of teaching rebellion against the Torah (Acts 21:18ff) (a charge of antinomianism).

After the departure of Peter from Jerusalem, James presided over the mother church of Christendom, as the local head of the oldest church at Jerusalem, until his death.[30] In the late 2nd century, Clement of Alexandria recorded the following: "For they say that Peter and James (the Great) and John the Apostle, after the ascension of our savior, as if also preferred by our Lord, strove not after honor, but chose James the Just as bishop of Jerusalem".[57][58] (See the Early Church Fathers and Jerome.) Because of this, Reza Aslan refers to James as the first Bishop of Bishops[59] quoting what it is written in the Clementine literature where it is written how James is addressed as "Bishop of bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the holy Church of the Hebrews, and the Churches everywhere" that according to the Old Catholic Professor Joseph Langen is false because the "Clementine literature" would be a Roman forgery.[60]

Hegesippus (c.110–c.180), wrote five books (now lost except for some quotations by Eusebius) of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. In describing James's ascetic lifestyle, Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History (Book II, 23) quotes Hegesippus' account of James from the fifth book of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church:

James, the Lord's brother, succeeds to the government of the Church, in conjunction with the apostles. He has been universally called the Just, from the days of the Lord down to the present time. For many bore the name of James; but this one was holy from his mother's womb. He drank no wine or other intoxicating liquor, nor did he eat flesh; no razor came upon his head; he did not anoint himself with oil, nor make use of the bath. He alone was permitted to enter the holy place: for he did not wear any woollen garment, but fine linen only. He alone, I say, was wont to go into the temple: and he used to be found kneeling on his knees, begging forgiveness for the people-so that the skin of his knees became horny like that of a camel's, by reason of his constantly bending the knee in adoration to God, and begging forgiveness for the people.[61][62]

Since it was unlawful for anyone but the High Priest of the Temple to enter the Holy of Holies, and then only once a year on Yom Kippur, Jerome's quotation from Hegesippus indicates that James was considered a High Priest. The Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions suggest this.[63]

Jerome quotes the non-canonical Gospel of the Hebrews: "'Now the Lord, after he had given his grave clothes to the servant of the priest, appeared to James, for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drunk the Lord's cup until he should see him risen from the dead.' And a little further on the Lord says, 'bring a table and bread.' And immediately it is added, 'He took bread and blessed and broke and gave it to James the Just and said to him, "My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from the dead."' And so he ruled the church of Jerusalem thirty years, that is, until the seventh year of Nero."[57] (See Jerome and the Early Church Fathers.)

The non-canonical Gospel of Thomas confirms that Jesus, after his resurrection, names James as a leader of his disciples: "The disciples said to Jesus, 'We know that you will depart from us. Who will be our leader?' Jesus said to them, 'Where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into existence'."[64][65][66]

The bishop of Salamis, Epiphanius wrote in his work The Panarion (AD 374-375) that "James, the brother of the Lord died in virginity at the age of ninety-six".[67]

Near contemporary sources[which?] also insist that James too was a "perpetual virgin" from the womb, a term which according to Robert Eisenman was later converted to his mother, Mary.[41] According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, he is not, however, identified with James the Great,[3] although this is disputed by some.[41]

Some writers, such as R.V. Tasker[68] and D. Hill,[69] say the Matthew 1:25 statement that Joseph "knew her not until she had brought forth her firstborn son" to mean that Joseph and Mary did have normal marital relations after Jesus' birth, and that James, Joses, Jude, and Simon, were the natural sons of Mary and Joseph and, thus, half-brothers of Jesus. Others, such as K. Beyer, point out that Greek ἕως οὗ (until) after a negative "often has no implication at all about what happened after the limit of the 'until' was reached".[70] Raymond E. Brown also argues that "the immediate context favors a lack of future implication here, for Matthew is concerned only with stressing Mary's virginity before the child's birth".[70]

Epistle of James

The Epistle of James has been traditionally attributed to James the Just since 253,[71][72] but, according to Dan McCartney, it is now common for scholars[who?] to disagree on its authorship.[73]


According to a passage found in existing manuscripts of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, (xx.9) "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James" met his death after the death of the procurator Porcius Festus but before Lucceius Albinus had assumed office (Antiquities 20,9) – which has been dated to 62[citation needed]. The High Priest Hanan ben Hanan (Anani Ananus in Latin) took advantage of this lack of imperial oversight to assemble a Sanhedrin (although the correct translation of the Greek synhedrion kriton is "a council of judges"), who condemned James "on the charge of breaking the law", then had him executed by stoning. Josephus reports that Hanan's act was widely viewed as little more than judicial murder and offended a number of "those who were considered the most fair-minded people in the City, and strict in their observance of the Law", who went so far as to arrange a meeting with Albinus as he entered the province in order to petition him successfully about the matter. In response, King Agrippa replaced Ananus with Jesus son of Damneus.[74] The Church Father Origen, who consulted the works of Josephus in around 248, related an account of the death of James, an account which gave it as a cause of the Roman siege of Jerusalem, something not found in our current manuscripts of Josephus.[75][76]

Eusebius, while quoting Josephus' account, also records otherwise lost passages from Hegesippus (see links below) and Clement of Alexandria (Historia Ecclesiae, 2.23). Hegesippus' account varies somewhat from what Josephus reports and may have been an attempt to reconcile the various accounts by combining them. According to Hegesippus, the scribes and Pharisees came to James for help in putting down Christian beliefs. The record says:

They came, therefore, in a body to James, and said: "We entreat thee, restrain the people: for they have gone astray in their opinions about Jesus, as if he were the Christ. We entreat thee to persuade all who have come hither for the day of the passover, concerning Jesus. For we all listen to thy persuasion; since we, as well as all the people, bear thee testimony that thou art just, and showest partiality to none. Do thou, therefore, persuade the people not to entertain erroneous opinions concerning Jesus: for all the people, and we also, listen to thy persuasion. Take thy stand, then, upon the summit of the temple, that from that elevated spot thou mayest be clearly seen, and thy words may be plainly audible to all the people. For, in order to attend the passover, all the tribes have congregated hither, and some of the Gentiles also."[77]

To the scribes' and Pharisees' dismay, James boldly testified that "Christ himself sitteth in heaven, at the right hand of the Great Power, and shall come on the clouds of heaven". The scribes and pharisees then said to themselves, "We have not done well in procuring this testimony to Jesus. But let us go up and throw him down, that they may be afraid, and not believe him."

Accordingly, the scribes and Pharisees

... threw down the just man... [and] began to stone him: for he was not killed by the fall; but he turned, and kneeled down, and said: "I beseech thee, Lord God our Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

And, while they were there, stoning him to death, one of the priests, the sons of Rechab, the son of Rechabim, to whom testimony is borne by Jeremiah the prophet, began to cry aloud, saying: "Cease, what do ye? The just man is praying for us." But one among them, one of the fullers, took the staff with which he was accustomed to wring out the garments he dyed, and hurled it at the head of the just man.

And so he suffered martyrdom; and they buried him on the spot, and the pillar erected to his memory still remains, close by the temple. This man was a true witness to both Jews and Greeks that Jesus is the Christ.
— Fragments from the Acts of the Church; Concerning the Martyrdom of James, the Brother of the Lord, from Book 5.[77]

Vespasian's siege and capture of Jerusalem delayed the selection of Simeon of Jerusalem to succeed James.

According to Philip Schaff in 1904, this account by "Hegesippus has been cited over and over again by historians as assigning the date of the martyrdom to 69," though he challenged the assumption that Hegesippus gives anything to denote such a date.[78] Josephus does not mention in his writings how James was buried.[79]

Modern interpretation

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Modern historians of the early Christian churches tend to place James in the tradition of Jewish Christianity; whereas Paul emphasized faith over observance of Mosaic Law. James is thought to have espoused the opposite position. One corpus commonly cited as proof of this are the Recognitions and Homilies of Clement (also known as the Clementine literature), versions of a novel that has been dated to as early as the 2nd century, where James appears as a saintly figure who is assaulted by an unnamed enemy some modern critics think may be Paul. Scholar James D. G. Dunn has proposed that Peter was the "bridge-man" (i.e. the pontifex maximus) between the two other "prominent leading figures": Paul and James the Just.[80]

Traditional Christian theologians have maintained likewise that the two held the same beliefs; evangelicals say that James's talk of works referred to works that God produced in Christians as evidence of conversion (as Paul himself assumes that works will follow faith). On the other hand, Orthodox and Catholic theologians say that Paul did not discount the importance of works (citing passages such as Romans 6 and 8) and that James was not referring to ceremonial works of the Torah (citing the fact that at the Council of Jerusalem, James declared that only a small portion of the Torah should be applied to Gentile converts).

The ossuary controversy

Main article: James Ossuary

In the November 2002 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, André Lemaire of the Sorbonne University in Paris published the report that an ossuary bearing the inscription "Ya'aqov bar Yosef achui d'Yeshua" ("James son of Joseph brother of Jesus") had been identified belonging to a collector, who quickly turned out to be Oded Golan. The ossuary was exhibited at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, late that year; but on June 18, 2003, the Israeli Antiquities Authority published a report concluding, based on an analysis of the patina, that the inscription is a modern forgery. Specifically, it appeared that the inscription had been added recently and made to look old by addition of a chalk solution. However, The Discovery Channel's 2004 documentary James, Brother of Jesus shows the examination of the inscription's patina by the Royal Ontario Museum, using longwave ultraviolet light, and they concluded there was "nothing suspicious" about the engraving, and Golan has put out a 34-page document defending the authenticity as well.[81]

On December 29, 2004, Golan was indicted in an Israeli court along with three other men – Robert Deutsch, an inscriptions expert who teaches at Haifa University; collector Shlomo Cohen; and antiquities dealer Faiz al-Amaleh. They were accused of being part of a forgery ring that had been operating for more than 20 years. Golan denied the charges against him. According to the BBC, "when the police took Oded Golan into custody and searched his apartment they discovered a workshop with a range of tools, materials, and half finished 'antiquities'. This was evidence for a fraud of a scale far greater than they had suspected."[82] However, on March 14, 2012, Golan was declared not guilty of all charges of forgery, though with the judge saying this acquittal "does not mean that the inscription on the ossuary is authentic or that it was written 2,000 years ago" and "it was not proven in any way that the words 'the brother of Jesus necessarily refer to the 'Jesus' who appears in Christian writings."[83][84]

Feast day

In the Roman Catholic Church, the feast day of Philip the Apostle, along with that of James the Lesser (Roman Catholic identify him with James the Just as the same person), was traditionally observed on 1 May, the anniversary of the church dedicated to them in Rome (now called the Church of the Twelve Apostles). Then this combined feast transferred to May 3 in the current ordinary calendar.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, James is commemorated as "Apostle James the Just, brother of Our Lord", and as such, multiple days are assigned to his feasts. His feast days are on October 23, December 26 and the next Sunday of the Nativity along with King David and Saint Joseph and January 4 among the Seventy Apostles.

In the Episcopal Church of the United States of America and Lutheran Church, James, brother of Jesus and martyr is commemorated on October 23.


News and Pictures from the Anti-Racism Training at Calvary on September 15, 2015

posted Sep 28, 2015, 2:19 PM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church

"Traces of the Trade" program encourages conversations, listening, and action

See a full report and pictures at this link: 

Clergy and laypeople from around the diocese filled historic Calvary Episcopal Church in Charleston on Tuesday for the first diocesan “Traces of the Trade” event and an opportunity to bring open minds and hearts to conversations about the legacy of slavery and racism.

Participants at Tuesday's session said they were glad they took part in the conversations, and encouraged others to attend the remaining programs being offered this week in Hilton Head Island, Conway, and North Charleston.

“This event sheds light, so that others can light their candles by it,” said Joe Frazier, Senior Warden of Calvary. “It’s a worthwhile opportunity for people to come and participate.”

Marlene O’Bryant-Seabrook, a retired educator and lecturer who attended the session, said events like “Traces” were a way of beginning to address the need for better education. “So much of the problem of communication between the races is due to a lack of knowledge,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to learn how each group is feeling – to lessen the gap.”

Bishop Charles vonRosenberg opened the gathering by recalling his first experience with Dain and Constance Perry, the couple who are visiting Charleston to facilitate the programs. The Bishop had invited the Perrys to East Tennessee several years ago, when he was bishop there. “That began a process that is ongoing, and we hope the same will be true here.”

Tuesday’s program consisted of a screening of the Emmy-nominated documentary “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North,” followed by a time for people to share their own stories. Introducing the film, Dain Perry spoke of growing up in Charleston. He attended Porter-Gaud School. His father was rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Charleston for 13 years; and his grandfather was James DeWolf Perry III, the 18th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, who died in Summerville in 1947.

The DeWolf family was the pre-eminent slave trading family in United States history, playing a role in bringing more than 10,000 enslaved people from Africa to the Americas. Mrs. Perry, meanwhile, introduced herself as a descendant of slaves from North Carolina and Virginia – states in which Dain Perry’s maternal ancestors once were slaveholders.

Mr. Perry told the audience that on June 16, the couple had just confirmed their plans to come to Charleston to facilitate the “Traces” program. The following day, June 17, the Emanuel AME shootings occurred.

“We were struck down to the depths of our hearts,” he said. Under the circumstances, he said they almost expected a call from the diocese asking to postpone the “Traces” program. But Bishop vonRosenberg’s response was different, Mr. Perry said: that the events at Emanuel made this kind of conversation more important and necessary than ever. “We were just awed by that,” he said.

Reflecting on the reaction to the tragedy by the people of Mother Emanuel and the people of Charleston, he said, “I haven’t ever been more proud of Charleston. You all did a remarkable job, and you’re continuing to do a remarkable job. You are bringing the gospel right to where the gospel needs to work the hardest.”

Events like the four “Traces” programs being offered by the diocese are not about blame or guilt, he said. “It’s about getting a better understanding of how we’ve gotten so terribly stuck where we are today, so we can begin healing.” 

The film traced the journey of 10 of the DeWolf family descendants, including Dain Perry, as they uncovered the family’s historic involvement with the slave trade that bought and sold human beings, sugar, rum and ships in a triangular route from Rhode Island to Ghana in West Africa, to Cuba, and back to New England.

After watching the documentary, people gave one-word descriptions of their feelings. Some of the words they used were: understanding and respect, sadness, shame, guilt and sorrow; hopefulness and gratitude; desire for action; impatience for change and healing; despair and hope, disappointment, and urgency. They elaborated on these words by sharing some of their personal stories and experiences with racism.

Conversations like these are “a very holy time, a time of handing over these feelings to God,” Constance Perry said. And they are not times for debate, but a time to speak and listen with open hearts.

Episcopal Church Calendar and Colors

posted Sep 2, 2015, 11:20 AM by CalvaryEpiscopal Church   [ updated Jan 20, 2016, 4:44 AM ]


The Episcopal Church’s calendar is divided into seasons that celebrate particular periods of the life of Jesus and the Church. The two main cycles of feasts and holy days are dependent on the fixed date of Christmas and on the movable date of Easter. Other holy days can be found in the Prayer Book. Principal Feasts are marked (+). Most links are to the Glossary of Liturgical Terms.

Calendar of the Church Year:

  • Advent Four Sundays before Christmas
  • Christmas season December 24 to January 5
  • Christmas Day + December 25
  • The Epiphany + January 6
  • Epiphany season January 6 to Ash Wednesday
  • Ash Wednesday (Fast) Forty days before Easter Sunday
  • Lent Ash Wednesday to Holy Week
  • Holy Week The week before Easter
  • Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday
  • Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Holy Week
  • Maundy Thursday
  • Good Friday (Fast)
  • Holy Saturday
  • Easter Sunday + First Sunday after the first full moon of spring*
  • Easter season Fifty days after Easter Sunday
  • Ascension Day + The Thursday forty days after Easter Sunday
  • Pentecost or Whitsunday + Fifty days after Easter
  • The season after Pentecost or Ordinary TimePentecost to Advent
  • Trinity Sunday + The Sunday after Pentecost
  • All Saint’s Day + November 1 (Our parish’s name day)

*The Prayer Book contains a table for finding the date of Easter Sunday and other holy days in any given year.

Colors of the Church Year
and Seasonal Dates, 2016

The Dates below are for the Church Year 2016,  Year C  of the Revised Common Lectionary 

and  Year 2  of the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, 2015.

The Dates of the Church Year, RCL  Year C , 2015-2016

Colors Season Dates Alternate
Dark Blue Blue Advent Nov 29-Dec 12 Blue Violet Purple
Pink* 3rd Wk of Advent Dec 13-Dec 19 Rose*
Dark Blue Blue Advent Dec 20-23 Blue Violet Purple
Dark Blue Blue Christmas Eve Dec 24 Blue Violet Purple
White Gold Christmas Dec 25-Jan 5 White Yellow
White Gold Epiphany Jan 6-9 White Yellow
Green After Epiphany Jan 10-Feb 6 Lt. Green
White Gold Transfiguration Feb 7-9 White Yellow
Purple Ash Wednesday Feb 10 Gray
Purple Lent Feb 10- Mar 19 Red Violet
Rose* [Laetere Sunday] [March 6] Rose*
Purple Palm Sunday Mar 20-24 Red**
Purple Maundy Thursday Mar 24 Red**
Purple Black Good Friday Mar 25 //// No Colors ////
Black Holy Saturday Mar 26 //// No Colors ////
White Gold Easter Mar 27-April 2 White Yellow
White Gold Eastertide Apr 3-May 4 Red**
White Gold Ascension Day May 5 [Sun May 8] White Yellow
White Gold Eastertide May 6-14 Red*
Red Pentecost Sunday May 15-21 Red Gold
White Gold Trinity Sunday May 21-May 28 Red**
Green Ordinary Time May 29-Oct 31 Lt. Green Bronze
  Aqua Olive
Red** All Saints Day or Sunday Nov 1 [or the next Sunday] White Gold
Green Ordinary Time Nov 2-19 Lt. Green Bronze
  Aqua Olive
White Gold Christ the King Nov 20-26 White Yellow

 * In some churches, Pink or Rose is used the Fourth Sunday of Advent; in Catholic and Anglican traditions, Pink or Rose is also used the Fourth Sunday in Lent.

** In some churches, Red is used only on Pentecost Sunday and the following week.

In the chart above, with the exception of Advent, more traditional colors are in the left column and alternate colors in the right column. Some Protestant church traditions use only traditional colors, including purple for Advent, while others are more free to use alternate colors within the basic sequence. Where two colors are given for a particular Sunday, either color is appropriate.  For example, for Advent either Dark Blue or Bright Blue can be used if using Blue (many Protestants), or either Purple or Blue Violet are appropriate if using Purple (Catholic traditions). The exceptions are Holy Days in which White and Gold (or White and Yellow) are usually used together, with White being the primary color. For more detailed information on each Season of the Church Year, visit the page for that Season (The Church Year).

Metallic Silver is sometimes used for, or with, white, especially at Easter and Christmas.  Likewise Metallic Gold can be used for gold or yellow.  While some traditions (Roman Catholic, for example) still use for purple for Advent, there is a trend to use a bluish violet for Advent and deep red violet for Lent.

In most traditions, the sanctuary cross is draped in color only during Lent (purple), Good Friday (black), and Easter (white).  Some churches leave white on the cross through Eastertide, drape the cross in red for Pentecost Sunday, and then leave the cross undraped until the beginning of Lent the next year.  Usually the cross is not decorated during Ordinary Time, nor during the Holy Days of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany both because the focus is not yet on the cross, and because the Greens of Advent and the other symbols of the Christmas season carry the visual message of that season.

Click below for information about the various Seasons and Holy Days that comprise The Christian Church Year. Except as noted, the dates are for 2015-2016 Year C , of the Revised Common Lectionary, Year 2  of the the Daily Office (daily readings) of the Book of Common Prayer. (For a more complete calendar, see The Church Year, 2016)

Advent Year C  (Nov 20 - Dec 24, 2015)
Christmas (Dec 25, 2015 - Jan 5, 2016)
The Twelve Days of Christmas (Dec 25, 2015 - Jan 5, 2016)
Epiphany (and Ordinary Time until Lent) (January 6 - Feb 9, 2016)
Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Feb 9, 2016)
Ash Wednesday (Feb 10, 2016)
Lent (Feb 10 - Mar 26, 2016)
Holy Week (March 20 - March 26 [27], 2016)
Maundy Thursday (March 24, 2016)
Good Friday (March 25, 2016)
Easter (March 27, 2016)
Pentecost (May 15, 2016)
Ordinary Time (May 22 - Nov 26, 2016)

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