Magazine article Anglican Journal

Curry on 'The Jesus Way,' Racism in America

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Curry on 'The Jesus Way,' Racism in America

Article excerpt

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is the spiritual leader of The Episcopal Church (TEC), a U.S.-based province of the Anglican Communion with a membership of 1.8 million.

The first African-American to hold the position, Curry has been active in anti-racism and social justice work throughout his ministry. Ordained a priest in 1978 and consecrated bishop of North Carolina in 2000, Curry was elected presiding bishop in 2015. He was installed in the months following the church's groundbreaking decision to allow same-sex marriage, and it fell to him to navigate the fallout of that decision at the meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion in January 2016.

A passionate and charismatic orator, Curry has frequently challenged the church to see itself not as an institution, but as the "Jesus Movement."

The Anglican Journal sat down with Curry in July 2016 at the Anglican Church of Canada's 41st General Synod, where he was an invited guest.

America right now is deeply divided. Do you think the church has a role in building bridges between people?

The church--followers of Jesus--are in the bridge-building business. God built a bridge between divinity and humanity in Jesus.

Reconciliation isn't just singing "Kum-baya" and everyone being nice. [It is about] working through our differences honestly and with integrity, and sometimes repenting of where our differences or my differences or yours [have] actually hurt relationships and not helped the human family.

The Jesus way is not to always have the answer, but to have a way to get to that answer ... The Jesus way is to be able to be clear and yet humble...and yet equally clear that there must be room and space for you, because you may have a dimension of understanding that I don't have, and to be honest enough to say, "I could be wrong, you could be right, or there could be something in between us."... Jesus doesn't allow us the option of self-righteousness, whether we're on the right or the left, because if you get self-righteous, it's all about you and it ain't got nothing to do with God.

Do you think the church will need to change in order to meet that Jesus Movement vision?

In the U.S., people used to say that the United States is a Christian nation. It's not true anymore...I think it's fair to say that we do live in a post-Christian era, and I do not bemoan that, actually. …

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