Monday, November 2, 2015

Historical: Episcopal Church appoints first black leader in the United States


Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, installed Sunday as the first black leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church, urged Episcopalians to evangelize by crossing divides of race, education and wealth.
Curry used the example of his own mother being given Communion at a white Episcopal parish before desegregation, and how that act persuaded his father to join the denomination, and eventually become a priest.
During his speech,He revealed"God has not given up on the world and God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet," Curry said, during a joyous ceremony in the Washington National Cathedral
Curry, 62, succeeds Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first woman in the job and is ending her nine-year term. He served about 15 years as leader of the Diocese of North Carolina before he was overwhelmingly elected last summer to the top church post. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, and earned degrees from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, and Yale Divinity School.

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The New York-based denomination was the church of many Founding Fathers and now has about 1.9 million members. Episcopalians now are struggling with shrinking membership and ongoing tensions with fellow Anglicans around the world over the Episcopal support for gay marriage. Curry will represent the U.S. church in January, at a meeting of national Anglican leaders addressing the splits in their fellowship.

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