Saturday, February 11, 2017


"God pushes people to build bridges," says Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Amen.

Last Sunday, Curry wrapped up a three-day revival in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. By all accounts it was a roaring success. His last stop was at the packed house of St. Stephen's of McKeesport. See the report here . May have been a coincidence, but St. Stephen's was the parish of Mark Lawrence from 1984 to 1997. In the trauma of division as the majority of the diocese of Pittsburgh voted to leave the Episcopal Church in 2008, St. Stephen's congregation finally resolved to remain Episcopal while still fondly recalling the young man from California who had led their flock so well.

Curry is famous as an electrifying preacher. He is just the one to lead the new "Jesus Movement" revival of the Episcopal Church. Surely, now is the moment for this.

The Presiding Bishop is to make five more stops on his year-long circuit of evangelism across America. Interestingly enough, the last stop will be in the Diocese of San Joaquin, November 17-19. Let's hope he holds his last revival meeting in St. Paul's of Bakersfield. That would be fitting. Lawrence was rector there from 1997 to 2007. DSJ was the original schismatic diocese, voting the second and last time in December of 2007 to leave the Episcopal Church. The majority of St. Paul's went along. However, the court returned the property of St. Paul's to the Episcopal diocese in 2013. The majority of the congregation moved out as Trinity Anglican Church.

Too bad that Curry did not include South Carolina in his circuit this year (he will be in Georgia). But then he did make a great and wonderful visit to Charleston last April when South Carolinians needed him the most in the wake of schism and the Mother Emanuel massacre. When he left, hearts did not ache quite so much.

Bridges: love, compassion, healing, reconciliation, brotherhood and sisterhood. That is what we should be about, not schisms, walls and separations. Presiding Bishop Curry's message is exactly what we all need to hear now in McKeesport, Bakersfield, Charleston, and everywhere.