If yesterday was not exciting enough, today was another historic day. This morning the House of Bishops voted and the House of Deputies confirmed the elected of The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry as the 28th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry is the first Presiding Bishop to be elected on the first ballot, the first African-American Presiding Bishop, and the first Presiding Bishop to graduate from Berkeley Divinity School. This last first is particularly cool as I am a rising Middler (Second Year Student) at Berkeley Divinity School.
There are so many emotions coursing through my body. Mostly I am thankful. Thankful for the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Church, thankful for my time spent with Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry throughout the discernment process, and thankful for sharing in this process. As I passed members of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (of which I am the lay representative from Province 1) I remarked, “Today’s the day it all pays off.” And boy, did it pay off!
Berkeley Divinity School’s motto, “In illa quae ultra sunt” means “into the regions beyond.” In what I’ve heard from Bishop Curry, prior to this election cycle, during this discernment period, and today gives me every confidence that he is the right person in this time to lead The Episcopal Church into the regions beyond. As I tweeted out, this is a #MandateForJesus. The Presiding Bishop-Elect is a passionate evangelist for the Jesus Movement and a fervent support of our Anglican way of living into this movement. We are embarking on a nine year adventure into the regions beyond following, led by Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry who walks proudly in the footsteps of Jesus.
As I rejoice in the election of Bishop Curry, I give great thanks to Bishop Tom Breidenthal – Southern Ohio, Bishop Ian Douglas – Connecticut, and Bishop Dabney Smith – South West Florida. These three men are incredibly faithful, gifted, and wonderful Bishops who are engaged in profound ministries in their respective dioceses. I trust that God will continue to bless them and the people of their dioceses in the ministry they share.
While the Bishops were locked in St. Mark’s Cathedral here in Salt Lake City, the House of Deputies celebrated the 230th anniversary of the House. As part of that we had the opportunity to offer thanks for several past leaders of the House of Deputies. One person we honored was the Vice President of the House of Deputies form 1973, Dr. Charles Willie. Dr. Willie preached at the ordination of the Philadelphia Eleven and ultimately resigned as Vice President of the House of Deputies in protest of the decision to recognize the Philadelphia Eleven and the failure to authorize Women’s ordination to the priesthood.
Like I said, today was a day unlike any other. I wouldn’t want it any other way.