[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was in Atlanta Nov. 7-9 for the National Association of Episcopal Schools biannual conference. Curry served as celebrant and preacher at the conference, but took time out of his busy schedule to meet with 15-year-old Rebekah Glover at Atlanta’s Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School.
The enterprising sophomore wrote Curry in late October, requesting an interview for the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GaRRS), where she volunteers. GaRRS provides broadcasts to those who are visually impaired or have difficulty with the printed word.
Rebekah told Curry in her warm missive — sent to Curry’s public email address — that she was raised in a non-denominational faith, that her mother is from North Carolina (Curry has longtime ties to North Carolina), and that she enjoys visiting her 88-year-old grandmother. “I often read the Word and sing hymns — it brings so much joy to Grandma!” she wrote.
“Bishop, I know you’re an extremely busy man, but I’m asking, should you ever come to the Atlanta, Ga., area, Sir, please allow me to interview you. I volunteer my services at GaRRS — Georgia Radio Reading Services. I would love for this audience to hear from you!”
And to Rebekah’s surprise, the trailblazing bishop, who impressed millions last May 19 with his rousing royal wedding sermon on the power of love, quickly agreed to come. They met for an interview on the Holy Innocents’ campus Thursday, Nov. 8, and then Curry took part in an all-school Eucharistic Convocation.
“You don’t really expect to be a 15-year-old and have a person as big as Michael Curry respond to you,” noted Rebekah, who added that Curry had been an inspiration to her long before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.
“I love his contagious energy when he speaks, and his love for Jesus of Nazareth. And when I hear his powerful messages, it makes my spirit leap.”
Rebekah’s mother arranged to have a GaRRS producer record the interview, and Glover, who plans to major in film and TV production in college, prepared questions for Curry about the Jesus Movement, the bishop’s experience with people with disabilities, and his new book “The Power of Love.”
“I was so happy to converse one on one with him.”
GaRRS, where Rebekah volunteers as a reader, has a mission “to improve the quality of life for every Georgian who is blind, visually impaired, or has difficulty with the printed word,” according to the organization’s website. The nonprofit offers an expansive library and streams hundreds of programs on its broadcasts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patrons access the service through a special radio, an online webstream, a telephone, or a mobile app.
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, one of the nation’s largest Episcopal schools, has 1,360 students enrolled in grades PK3-12.
– Peggy J. Shaw is a Georgia-based freelance journalist.