Christine A. Scheller is a widely published journalist and essayist. She lives with her husband at the Jersey Shore and in Washington, D.C., where she helps facilitate cross-community dialogue.
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Michael Curry Installed as Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church, Urges 'the Way of Love'
Curry’s landslide election in June — 10 days after nine black congregants were shot to death by a white supremacist at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. — is notable for a denomination whose membership is only 4 percent black.
"After the Charleston shootings, it became really important to send a signal about race in the Episcopal Church," said the cathedral’s retiring dean, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, in an interview last week.
Curry’s election is not only a symbol of the church’s need to engage with racial justice issues, but also its need to become “a more hospitable place for people of color,” said Hall.
A 2014 denominational survey found that only 17 percent of black Episcopal churches are growing — and that while black congregations engage in more lively worship and have “clearer purpose,” their congregants tend to be older and are less engaged in evangelism than the denomination’s white churches. Latino, Asian, Native American, and multi-racial/ethnic Episcopal churches were too few to sample individually, though their collective growth is significantly stronger than predominantly white or black churches, the report said.
Disarming Our Speech
I Beg to Differ: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Truth and Love. IVP Books.
Pursuing Grace, Onstage and Off
Laughter is Sacred Space: The Not-So-Typical Journey of a Mennonite Actor. Herald Press