profoundly inclusive community built around baptism and following the teachings of Jesus
On Nov. 1, the Episcopal Church will celebrate the installation of Michael B.Curry as our new Presiding Bishop. An article in Faith and Leadership, linked in full here, captures something of Bishop Curry’s focus and priorities as he engages the work before him and before us as a Church.
Bishop Curry, author of “Crazy Christians,” reflected on his ministry with the Diocese of North Carolina, and on the significant shift they went through over a 15-year process of becoming a community centered on the clarity of a gospel vision that animates and enlivens. Together, they started by developing a sense of what it means to be a
…’missionary diocese’, committed to the work of living into God’s dream, following Jesus into God’s dream by making disciples who actually make a difference in the world.
That commitment led to being a:
…profoundly inclusive community built around baptism and following the teachings of Jesus.
Which in turn led to embracing an awareness that:
This church has to go out and be the presence of Christ intentionally—not just accidentally, but intentionally—in the world beyond the church and in partnership and relationship with other people, following where the risen Christ has already gone, and meeting him there.
This gospel vision is about being a movement above and beyond being an institution:
The church, the institution the organization, exists to serve the movement. And so how do we reclaim that movement? Well, part of that movement is reclaimed by real discipleship, by forming people as not simply just members of a church but as disciples of Jesus, committed to following his way. That’s the movement stuff…it’s the Christian movement that can help the institution actually find its life, not the other way around.
I am excited by Bishop Curry’s election and his leadership and what it means for all of us who are part of this movement, this walking of the Way of Jesus, as lived out in the Episcopal tradition. We have so very much to offer the hurting world all around us, and in truth within our own hearts. As we respond to Jesus’ call to follow him, we discover together with the woman at the well in John’s gospel, that Jesus offers us living water that will become a spring of water gushing up to eternal life. And who doesn’t want that?
Join with me in celebrating Bishop Michael Curry’s ministry and leadership in our midst. The liturgy that will be reflective of the comprehensiveness of the Episcopal tradition and community is on November 1. Since we’ll be celebrating our own First Sunday that day, the links below will help make it possible to share from a distance this wonderful moment in our common life.