[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, Washington Bishop Mariann Budde and other Episcopalians will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany in a livestreamed service at the Church of the Epiphany in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 in an event that will also mark the anniversary of the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The event, “To Look Like Jesus: A Call to the Church and the Nation,” will begin at noon Eastern time and a video address to the nation will follow from Curry in the afternoon.
“This Epiphany, we will proclaim that we recognize Christ alive and moving wherever people are looking, acting, and loving like Jesus,” the Office of Public Affairs wrote. “Bishop Curry will invite Episcopalians to commit afresh to becoming vibrant, loving, healing, truth-telling embodiments of Jesus and his light — in our communities and in our nation.”
The event will promote Curry’s vision of The Episcopal Church as “a church that looks and acts like Jesus … no longer centered on empire and establishment, no longer fixated on preserving institutions, no longer shoring up white supremacy or anything else that hurts or harms any child of God,” ideas Curry has previously articulated publicly. The worship service on the Feast of the Epiphany – which celebrates the revelation of Jesus in the world, particularly to the magi who came to visit Bethlehem – will feature “a diversity of people who are the face of Christ,” from Episcopal clergy to musicians Kory Caudill and Chanda Leigh Adeogba to homeless people.
The event takes place on the first anniversary of the attack on the Capitol by hundreds of supporters of then-President Donald Trump as Congress met to certify Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. At a White House rally immediately before the attack, Trump and other Republicans repeated false claims of election fraud they had been making since Election Day (and even before) in an attempt to overturn the election. Trump urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, which they infiltrated and ransacked for about 5 hours.
One Capitol Police officer died the next day “due to injuries sustained while on-duty,” according to Capitol Police, and another four officers killed themselves over the following months. Four rioters died during the attack.
While the attack was still unfolding, Curry denounced it as a “coup attempt” in a video message.
“The events at our Capitol today are deeply disturbing,” Curry said at the time. “Today’s protesters pushed through police barricades and forced their way into congressional chambers and … [are] threatening the safety of lawmakers, their staff and others who work in the Capitol complex. This threatens the integrity of our democracy, the national security of our nation, the continuity of government, and the lives and safety of our legislators, their staffs, law enforcement and all who work in the Capitol.”
Curry and House of Deputies President the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings later specifically denounced the use of Christian imagery and language by many of the rioters.
“The stories, signs and symbols of our faith are being put to violent use by people who want to establish a nation in which power and privilege is held exclusively by white Christians,” Jennings said during an Executive Council meeting two weeks after the attack. “We have a special responsibility to stand against it.”
On Feb. 10, 2021, the House of Representatives impeached Trump for “incitement of insurrection.” He was acquitted three days later in the Senate. The former president and his supporters still falsely maintain the election was stolen.
– Egan Millard is an assistant editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.