More than any time of year, this is a season in which we all long for home. Literally or figuratively, we all long for that place where we are always welcome, known, and loved. That place or state of being where we can be our most authentic selves, that person whom God made us to be. Also this time of year, many of us look to help others find their way home. And that, according to our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, is at the heart of the Jesus Movement, at the heart of what he means when he uses the word “evangelism.”
Last month, I attended the “Evangelism Matters” conference - that’s right, 400 Episcopalians who were passionate and ready to share the Good News to a world of people desperate to “find their way home.” Leading the call and inspiring us all, was the inimitable Presiding Bishop. You may have seen his Jesus Movement and other videos. Trust me when I tell you, this man’s energy and spirit cannot be captured in a video. You can’t confine him to the small screen - it’s just not the same.
But you don’t have to take my word for it - the Presiding Bishop is coming to Pittsburgh in February! The Diocese of Pittsburgh is honored and privileged to host the first of a series of “revival” events in dioceses across the country. We will pray together and seek guidance on ways to bring about racial reconciliation, we will strategize ways to address the brokenness in our communities, and we will celebrate and break bread together in worship. Ever wonder why we use the word “celebrate” when we refer to worship? Come hear Michael Curry preach and you will finally understand! This is a not to be missed event. If your faith is flagging, if you are frustrated in these uncertain times, if you aren’t sure what it means to be a person of faith in an indifferent and secular world, come! If you are passionate and sure in your faith, come! If you are a long time Episcopalian or still haven’t figured out where the restrooms are at St. Paul’s, come! You will not be disappointed.
It will be a busy weekend - all of the events are open to everyone so choose the event that best meets your interests. You can register for any and all of the events on the diocesan website before January 6.
Interested in a celebratory service featuring the dynamic preaching of Presiding Bishop Curry? Looking to inspire your family, children and youth?
Absalom Jones Day Celebration
Saturday, February 4, Holy Cross, Homewood
9:30 a.m. Youth “Breakfast with the Bishops”
11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
The youth of our parishes will have some time for fun and conversation with Bishops Curry and McConnell. Then we will join Bishop Curry to celebrate the witness of the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first African American priest of the Episcopal Church. Bring an unchurched friend to hear the Presiding Bishop’s evangelistic witness
Interested in an interfaith gathering with regional leaders to address the divisive issues that face our region? Ready to roll up your sleeves and begin a conversation to transform our communities? Consider these events:
Service of Repentance and Reconciliation
Friday, February 3, 7:00 p.m., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
We will welcome Bishop Curry as he addresses leaders of churches across the region and as we all pray together for the unity of the Church.
Bridging Divides and Healing Communities
Saturday, February 4, 3:00 p.m., Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Together with Bishop Curry and local leaders, we will listen, learn, and begin to bridge the divides of race and denomination, to engage together in three great works: to help bring recovery from addiction, development out of poverty, and the hope of Jesus Christ into the lives of those around us. Help form a Covenant of Hope to renew God’s work in all our communities!
Want to be commissioned as one of the “144” - a group of people around the diocese who are committed to being the “pilgrims” in our region, taking the Jesus Movement into our communities, sharing the Good News? Ready to invite a friend to join you? Consider these events:
“Bring a Friend” and Sending of Pilgrims
Sunday, February 5, 9:00 a.m., Calvary Church, East Liberty
Hear Bishop Curry preach at a service where everyone is invited to bring an unchurched friend. Those present who wish to join the Presiding Bishop on the final leg of his pilgrimage will be commissioned and sent.
Taking the Jesus Movement to the Mon
Sunday, February 5, 11:00 a.m., St. Stephen's, McKeesport
We will gather in McKeesport to hear Bishop Curry’s culminating sermon and to show prayerful support at a Eucharist for “The Mon Valley Mission” and begin to live out our commitment to one another as one of the “144” sent from our parishes. Join us in “the Mon” to be filled with the Holy Spirit and strengthened for evangelism in your own community.
St. Paul's is proud that Lisa Brown, who wrote this article, is serving on the Diocesan planning committee for this historic event.