Our apologies--the Resurrection Report is a little late due to technical difficulties. Insert your own “at least you didn’t have to wait three days” joke here.
Well! Did anyone hear anything cool going on yesterday at General Convention? Maybe on CNN or over the Associated Press wire? By now, of course you know that Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina has been elected the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. This is the first time I heard Bishop Curry speak--at the 2012 General Convention in Indianapolis. I won’t soon forget it.
Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale brings us this report:
Lurking on the consent calendar for the House of Deputies tomorrow is resolution B004: Commend Report on Relations with Church of Sweden. Until I saw it, I was only dimly aware of the Church of Sweden and not at all aware that dialogue was happening between The Episcopal Church and the Church of Sweden.
This afternoon I met with The Reverend Dr Christopher Meakin, head of ecumenical relations for the Church of Sweden to find out what is going on. The dialogue began several years ago at the request of Bishop Pierre Whalon of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, to see if there were ways for the Episcopal and Swedish churches scattered throughout Europe to cooperate.
Dr. Meakin noted that the Swedish and Episcopal churches have never not really been in communion. Though the Church of Sweden is Lutheran, Dr. Meakin said that Sweden’s revolution was “comparatively mild”, and that the Church of Sweden never lost sight of apostolic succession, and that our liturgies and understanding of the Eucharist are compatible. Many Church of Sweden congregations established in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries became Episcopal churches as the cultural ties to Sweden waned.
What the present dialogue is doing is uncovering a communion we weren’t really that aware we had, other than incidentally. For instance, the Rt. Rev. Barbara Brown Harris, the first female bishop on The Episcopal Church, participated in the ordination of the first female bishop in the Church of Sweden in 1997. But otherwise the fact that our churches have a great deal in common has been under the radar. Cooperation among our churches does not require the technical accommodations and clarifications of Call to Common Mission (which allowed full communion between the ELCA and The Episcopal Church).
Dr. Meakin observed that he found the election of our next Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, “particularly American,” in a positive way. He said that if Swedes had been making the selection, the choice might have been different due to a more reserved Nordic culture, but thought that Curry appears to be the right man for our church at this time.
Given that I live nowhere near Stockholm, the chances of me worshiping in a Church of Sweden congregation any time soon. But it does my heart good to know that the bonds of the faith I treasure stretch to still another land.
Overheard: “It delighted me that I was told I could keep wearing my Acts 8 button while serving the Eucharist at GC, since Acts 8 is considered a non-political organization.”
The #GC78 hashtag was blowing up on Twitter yesterday with support for resolution B009. What a witness to digital evangelism on the ground!
Finally, even though this report is late, you still have time to plan to attend The Collect Call’s live show tonight.