[Anglican Communion News Service — Salt Lake City] There was delight and excitement in the room as The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry unexpected paid a call June 28 to thank international and ecumenical guests for coming to the church’s General Convention in Salt Lake City.
Fresh from a march to protest against gun violence, Curry recognized that people everywhere faced similar challenges in the search for peace.
“The world’s way is not the way,” he said. “Jesus has shown us another way.”
Referring to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, Curry, the bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, noted that “the old way was that you loved your neighbors and hated your enemies” but that Jesus had taught a path of love for the enemy.
Curry highlighted the African heritage that he shared with some of the guests, such as Archbishop Daniel Safo, primate and metropolitan of the Church of the Province of West Africa, and Archbishop Albert Chama, primate of the Church of the Province of Central Africa, and called for a common witness by Anglicans and Episcopalians worldwide.
“There’s ‘plenty good room’ in God’s world for all of us and part of our mission as followers of Jesus is to help this world find that room and make that room, so that children don’t go to bed hungry and so that we lay down our swords and shields,” he said, quoting the lyrics of an African-American spiritual.
Curry, clearly energized by the diversity of the guests, brought a message of hope for the future. “Together I really do believe that we can help this world find another way. We can do this because we are all followers of Jesus.”
The international Anglican Communion guests had welcomed Curry’s election as The Episcopal Church’s 27th presiding bishop. Along with the African archbishops, the presiding pishop-elect was greeted by the primates of Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, Brazil, Central America and Scotland, and by the representative of the Archbishop of Hong Kong. Several ecumenical guests also were present.