Marriage Equality The Law of the Land, Soon a Liturgy In The Church

Episcopal Church Supports Marriage Equality

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) By an overwhelming majority in both of its legislative houses, the Episcopal Church made history Wednesday (July 1) by making marriage for same-sex couples available throughout the church.

The actions on marriage equality came after decades of progress toward fully including LGBT Episcopalians in the work and witness of the church.

Meeting in Salt Lake City for its 78th General Convention, the House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops to approve a canonical change that eliminates a written definition of marriage as between a man and a woman and authorizes two new marriage rites for same-sex or opposite-sex couples.

Taken together, these actions make marriage — which the Supreme Court ruled last week is a “fundamental right” for all Americans — equally available for all Episcopalians.

Read More at Religion News Service and ThinkProgress.

The Right Reverend Michael Curry Elected Presiding Bishop

The Right Reverend Michael Curry

The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina, has been elected the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Bishop Curry will be the fifth southern bishop and the first African-American leader of the church.

Meeting at St Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church on 27 June 2015 elected Bishop Curry on the first ballot and received 121 votes, defeating the Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas who received 13 votes and the Bishop of Southern Ohio, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal who received 19 votes; and the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, Bishop of Southwest Florida who received 21 votes.

Born in Chicago and reared in Buffalo, New York, Bishop Curry was educated at Hobart College and trained for the ministry at the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Ordained deacon in June and priest in December 1978 in the Diocese of Western New York, Bishop Curry served as deacon in charge, then rector of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Winston-Salem in the Diocese of North Carolina from 1978-1982. He served as rector of St Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church in Lincoln Heights, Ohio from 1982-1988; and from 1988 to 2000 as rector of St James African Episcopal Church in Baltimore–the oldest African-American Episcopal parish in the South. (Author: George Conger)

Congratulations and know that the Church and all the faithful shall raise your name in prayer and wish you well in your new and challenging ministry.

More information via The Episcopal Cafe

God Shed His Grace On Thee

We are a nation of many races and creeds, of ethnic divergences and foreign beginnings. We are truly a melting pot that simmers, steams and on occasion boils red hot. People come to these shores seeking those roads “paved with gold.” And while some do find their way to wealth and fame, others find mere specks of sparkling possibilities, potholes and a sustaining desire for the comforts of the ports left behind while wanting so much to stay, dig deep, plant their seeds and take root in this new land. This America; of waving wheat fields, lakes both great and small, of majestic mountains and low lands that begin to the north at Canada and travel south to Mexico. Bald eagles and buffalo herds, sky scrappers and underground trains, bridges that span gorges and rivers and unites one side to another and walls that soar into the heavens supporting rooftop terraces and palatial apartments and walls of words and opinions that only serves to separate and divide. America is complicated and compelling. America is unique and her people possessive of a ubiquitous spirit. America is red and black, white and brown, blue and gold, silver and bronze. We are a rainbow of people that is alive, yet coming of age and forever seeking wisdom and ever in need of God’s unconditional grace.

Our nations turns 239 this year and in some regards, we are still a young nations. Compare ourselves to England and France, to some Middle Eastern countries, yes, America is a child just beginning to walk of its own abilities.

StatueofLiberty

It is safe to say we all desire and dream, we ponder and pray for a nation that doesn’t just give lip service to the idea of “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice FOR ALL,” but a government that does all it can to ensure that such is the case, the rule, the abiding law that is upheld for the benefit of all her people. We have a ways to go I suspect. But, it is a venture, an undertaking, a mission I believe we are all eager to see come to full fruition! The past few weeks we’ve witnessed unprecedented and landmark decisions handed down by the highest court in the land. These laws will impact this country in a number of ways: there will be some who will scowl and sneer, while others will bask in the glory, rejoice, regale and revel. These new laws will forever alter us as a nation and like nutrients added to soil to stimulate growth, so our country has had its soil and soul tiled and turned, fortified and enhanced. We wait, patient people we are, we wait to see the growth that will come…

America has grown up quite a bit. The past month alone we have seen a great, growth spurt that necessitated a new suit to be worn: a suit that is far, more “accepting and giving,” a new set of clothes that are “equal and embracing.” You’re looking better and better every day, America!

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” Remember that jingle? General Motors hit a grand slam with that tune as car sales soared. If you’re from southeastern Michigan, more specifically Metro Detroit, there was this little tune that always made me smile; “Comic books and rubber bands, climb into the tree top. Falling down and holding hands, tricycles and Red Pop. Pony rides and Sunday nights, roller skates and snowball fights. Climb in through the window. Remember when you were a kid? Well, part of you still is. And that’s why we make Faygo. Faygo remembers.” Faygo is still proudly made in Detroit right on Gratiot Avenue just outside downtown and their Red Pop is awesome. (If you’d like to hear this song for yourself, go to Youtube, type in “Faygo song,” sit back and enjoy)

Yes, I do remember when I was a kid. Without any tinge of embarrassment I can say that part of me still is. Maybe keeping that “kid” inside me helps me to stay, feel and be young, at least at heart.

We all grow older and it is my hope that as we age, with grace and dignity, we gain wisdom and insight. Then, we pass on to the youth of our families, our communities our house of worship our aged wisdom and insight.

The times of our youth live on in our memories. Certainly, we cling and cleave to the old black and white photos that grace our picture albums. The other day I heard a young girl ask her mother why so many of her pictures were not in color. Be still my heart! I tell stories to my grand nephews and grand nieces about the days when we had only 6 or 7 television stations and we had to get up and go to the T.V. to change the station or turn up the volume. Really? Yes, really. That is how it was. In turn, I loved to hear the stories told to me of when my parents were young and the way their lives were dictated by the ‘conveniences” of their times. I imagine how it was for them and I can understand and appreciate the amazement of younger people today who question the realities of a time when listening to the radio was the nightly entertainment, a time without color television, returning burnt out light bulbs in exchange for new ones, collecting dishes or encyclopedia volumes with each tank full of gas, red meat and whole milk were recommended as part of a healthy diet, the aforementioned black and white photographs, no computers, bell bottom slacks, paisley patterned shirts and blouses, no air conditioning aside from a box fan in the window, 8 track tape players, leaving the front door of our homes unlocked and churches were open all night.

So, is anyone up for a pick-up game of baseball? How about we go and look for pop bottles, take them to the corner store and get the deposit money? Let’s get a jar and catch us some lightning bugs? Hey, let’s build a club house and you’ll need a secret pass to get in? What about “hide and go seek,” or “tag,” and we’ll get the kids from the other block to play with us? Remember when you were a kid? Do you think about how things will be when we’re all older? We live in the present but a great part of us still dwells and dreams of a time “back when.”

Let’s make it a good day…today, right now and make it the best day possible. Smile at the stranger you pass on the street. Pick a flower from the garden (your garden preferable, please), put it in a vase and just admire its beauty and fragrance. Grab a Red Pop, eat some pop corn, sit on the front porch and wave to the kids riding by on their bikes. We can live in the present with a little of yesterday thrown it, too.

Amen.

manny@stnicholasepiscopal.org

Manny

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