Today was a big day. It was a historic day. It was my birthday! And so many of you sent birthday greetings for which I am very grateful. As most of you will well know by now we elected Bishop Michael Curry as the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church today in a meeting of the House of Bishops at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City. I was honored to be part of this event. The Cathedral was tightly secured, wiht temporary fence put around it, and black tarps over all the windows so no one could see in. We were transported from the Salt Palace by bus to the Cathedral and then our credentials were checked one by one as we entered.
After singing several hymns and being instructed how the electino would take place, with paper ballots, and assigned counters. several prayers, and then the first ballot. It would only take one.
Bishop Curry is an amazing human, a dedicated Christian, and is the perfect person to lead this Episcopal Church for the coming years. He was overwhelmingly elected on the first ballot today. I am not certain if this is the only time this has ever happened, but I can assure you it has not happened in recent time. He is the first African-American to lead this Episcopal Church. I am honored to serve with him and give thanks for his election.
After the election all the bishops sign the testimonials to the election. I am doing that in this picture.
Then we were allowed to greet the Presiding Bishop-elect as we filed in to eat lunch and await the House of Deputies Confirmation of the election. We were not allowed to leave the Cathedral until this was done.
WE eventually heard from the House of Deputies that they had overwhelmingly confirmed Bishop Curry and then we all traveled back to the Salt Palace, again on buses, and we made it time for his presentation personally to the House of Deputies. This was a truly joyous occasion, a great day for our church. Bishop Curry is a committed evangelist, a great preacher and teacher, and will represent us so very well.
Shortly after his presentation and the recess of the House of Bishops I was surprised with a group hug by our youth delegation from Olympia. I have to tell you it was a hug I needed and it made my day, one of the best birthday presents I received today.
There are others here from Olympia and I have said I will try to capture them when I see them in photos so I can share them with you. This morning as I was heading to my first legislative session I spotted the Rev. Rilla Barrett, Rector of St. Stephen’s, Oak Harbor volunteering and helping us all find our way. What a joy to see her here!