(8:06 p.m.) “Walk tall, or baby don’t walk at all.” So sings Bruce Springsteen — and so said the boss, Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, quoting the boss today in the House of Bishops.
That’s two favorite bosses in one package. So I was stepping lightly and feeling no pain (in a spiritual sense, of course) when I headed for lunch today, where I ran into the Rev. Canon Dr. Sandye A Wilson (just reelected as a trustee of the Church Pension Group) and Union of Black Episcopalians past president Canon Annette Buchanan (just elected to Executive Council).
Annette is a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church – in Asbury Park, NJ, which is Springsteen central. Sandye, also a past UBE president, is its former rector. I naturally asked about Bruce, and they told me that his first piano player, Asbury Park native David Sancious (that’s he on “Rosalita,” not Roy Bittan), is a longtime friend of St. Augustine’s, He gave the parish a piano.
I’m pretty sure that makes Bruce an Episcopalian. I knew it!
(7:39 p.m.) We ran the gamut today in the House of Bishops. Owing to the careful work of a dozen episcopal drafters, we got past a bumpy moment when it seemed we couldn’t balance the principle of intentionality in prayer book revision with inclusion for all those left out of our liturgies. We talked about Ukraine, climate change, and Christian Zionism. We passed landmark legislation, sent by the House of Deputies, to fund our church’s work of racial reckoning, reparation, and reconciliation in perpetuity.
The rawest moments came this evening, when Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry confessed his gnawing fear that democracy is at risk. He invited us into conversation about how to put the church to work on behalf of a new vision of “e pluribus unum.” We’ll talk more about it sometime during the second two days of our four-day Episcothon.
I felt privileged to be present as the most dynamic figure in contemporary Christianity, a voice for our God in Christ’s vision of justice and equity, a voice of supreme optimism and joy, began to make notes for his last two years as our presider, teacher, and prophet. It was 9 p.m. when we finished, and if he’d asked us to march to Washington with him tonight, holding high the banner of freedom and justice for all, we would have.
As for me, I took a knee for two group pictures, with fellow friends of Episcopal camping (above, taken by Bishop of Georgia and former newspaper photographer Frank Logue) and with family members and friends of members of the LGBTQ+ community (below).
(10:26 a.m.) Today is brag-about-your-camp day at General Convention in Baltimore – and whom should I have the blessing of running into but the new executive director of ECCC – Episcopal Camps & Conference Centers, the Rev. Jess Elfring-Roberts? By the grace of God, mediated by the Rev. Canon Kelli Grace Kurtz, I was sporting my Camp Stevens colors. Jess and I took turns raving about our executive director, Kathy Wilder.