Following the way of Jesus: Statement from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry has issued the following statement:

Last week I shared what I pray was a reconciling post-election message to our church, reminding us that ‘we will all live together as fellow Americans, as citizens.’ Today I want to remind us that during moments of transition, during moments of tension, it is important to affirm our core identity and values as followers of Jesus in the Episcopal Anglican way.

Jesus once declared, in the language of the Hebrew prophets, that God’s “house shall be a house of prayer for all nations” (Mk 11:17). He invited and welcomed all who would follow saying, “come to me all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens” (Mt. 11:28).

We therefore assert and we believe that “the Episcopal Church welcomes you” – all of you, not as merely a church slogan, but as a reflection of what we believe Jesus teaches us and at the core of the movement he began in the first century. The Episcopal Church welcomes all. All of us!

As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement today, we Episcopalians are committed, as our Prayer Book teaches to honor the covenant and promises we made in Holy Baptism: To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ; To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.

As Christians, we believe that all humans are created in God’s image and equal before God – those who may be rejoicing as well as those who may be in sorrow.

As a Church, seeking to follow the way of Jesus, who taught us, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” (Mt. 22:39) and to “do to others as you would have them do to you” (Mt. 7:12), we maintain our longstanding commitment to support and welcome refugees and immigrants, and to stand with those who live in our midst without documentation.  We reaffirm that like all people LGBT persons are entitled to full civil rights and protection under the law. We reaffirm and renew the principles of inclusion and the protection of the civil rights of all persons with disabilities. We commit to the honor and dignity of women and speak out against sexual or gender-based violence.  We express solidarity with and honor the Indigenous Peoples of the world. We affirm the right to freedom of religious expression and vibrant presence of different religious communities, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers. We acknowledge our responsibility in stewardship of creation and all that God has given into our hands. We do so because God is the Creator. We are all God’s children, created equally in God’s image. And if we are God’s children we are all brothers and sisters.

“The Episcopal Church Welcomes You,” is not just a slogan, it’s who we seek to be and the witness we seek to make, following the way of Jesus.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Comments

  1. Wayne Helmly says:

    Thank you, Bishop Curry for being a bearer of The Gospel of Christ during this stressful time. Your steadying hand is indeed “a balm in Gilead.”

    We in The Episcopal Church in South Carolina are still remembering fondly the inclusive ecumenical Evening Prayer service we had last spring with you, our dear friends at Emanuel AME, and others at St. Stephen’s, Charleston.

    May God continue to bless your ministry.

  2. Selena Smith says:

    Many, many thanks to the Presiding Bishop and the other Bishops who issued statements post the election to give words of wisdom, hope and care, and are being “faithful pastor[s] and wholesome example[s] for the entire flock of Christ.” Bishops who did not do that: huge disappointment.

  3. I never hesitate to say, “Our Presiding Bishop speaks for me.” His interpretation of the scripture and God’s intention for our lives is always direct and so clearly accurate. It is apparent to me that God did, indid, send the Most Rev. Michael Curry to lead our church in this time.

  4. As a Deacon with the Episcopal Church who happens to be Latino and Gay, I always try to speak from my gut about injustice. I am finding that some in the Episcopal Church would rather look the other way and not be reminded of our history together and our struggle to come this far in community. Your article and leadership behavior has empowered me to keep living into the challenges of bringing about God’s reign through the living and breathing word of the Gospel. For that, I Thank You.

  5. Diane Villafane says:

    Words of wisdom. Words of reassurance. Thank you, sir, for reaffirming the welcoming stance, solidarity, and ecumenism of the Episcopal Anglican Branch of the Jesus Movement in our day.

  6. Carla Burzyk says:

    I’m with you, dear, wise and compassionate man. Thank you.

  7. Janet Bowen says:

    Current events bring the Anti-christ to mind, and the human tendency to creat our own Apocalipsis, over and over.

  8. Robert Kennedy says:

    Thank you for your thoughtful affirmation of our core being with God

  9. I have always loved driving in various areas around the country, and spotting our signs that read, “the Episcopal Church welcomes you”. I am thankful for the joy it brings to mind, even if only passing by quickly. However, those signs can evoke very deep emotions to some. Many years ago, I had the pleasure to share a dinner, and the Episcopal signs were mentioned. One person around the table told me a story about how one of our signs changed his life. You see he is gay and unfortunately never felt like he belonged. One day, when he stood in front of one of the Episcopal signs, it moved him to his core. He started crying. For the first time he really felt embraced, and welcomed ~ he felt at home. Just like Jesus would want! All included and equally loved! It might seem like a small thing to be thankful for our welcoming signs, but to some it means so much more. Praise be to our Lord who loves and welcomes us ALL!

    • Doris Sciremammano says:

      Thank you Bishop Curry, for reminding us that we are ALL “children of God” inspite of our differences. We are all the same to God.

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