Episcopals applaud Curry’s message

Published 9:39 am Monday, June 13, 2016

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is known for being a dynamic speaker, and during his historic trip to the river city, he did not disappoint.

The Most Rev. Curry addressed hundreds at the Vicksburg Convention Center Sunday, including members of the four local Episcopal churches and members of other churches in the Diocese of Mississippi.

James Jefferson Jr., senior warden at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, said Curry was every bit the dynamic speaker he had heard he would be.

“He delivered a message that really was down to earth and true,” he said. “Every Episcopalian should be inspired today.”

Jefferson said it was a truly an honor that St. Mary’s was asked to host the presiding bishop.

“It was a lot of tireless effort from the churches here in Vicksburg,” he said. “We’re honored he would even come to Mississippi, much less choose Vicksburg to come here and celebrate with us. We’re just happy to have him here, and we hope he returns home with a good memory of Vicksburg.”

Bobbie Marascalco of Church of the Holy Trinity said she’s heard Curry speak at two different conventions and she knew how great of a speaker he is.

“He’s just so with it,” she said. “How can you not agree with what he says? I don’t care if you’re white, black, purple, Democrat or Republican, that’s what it’s all about if you’re a Christian.”

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church member Kerri Williams said the church is lucky to have such a cool presiding bishop.

“It’s really wonderful to see him, hear him and get a hold of his message in person,” she said. “Watching Bishop Curry’s interviews and watching him celebrate services, it’s uplifting. It’s nice to have that right here, so we can do that work right here in our own communities and not just think about it or post it on Facebook.”

Christ Episcopal Church member Mary Chaney said she enjoyed the music from Theodicy Jazz Collective, and added the presiding bishop’s message was spot-on.

“His message was exactly right,” she said. “We’re all human, and human beings are different from the other animals. That whole service was a service on love and compassion for human beings.”

Her husband, Mike Chaney, agreed, adding the message was simple, but one that needs to be remembered.

“The message he delivered was we’re all one family, and we need to treat each other as family,” he said. “That’s the world that Christ calls us to be in. It was a great, wonderful message.”

Dr. Mary E. Jackson, senior warden at St. Mark’s in Jackson, said she got to spend some time with the presiding bishop after she picked him up from the airport.

“I had to go get my car washed. I could not let him see that dirt on my car,” she said. “The idea of him coming here was so exciting, and it coincided with our racial reconciliation service in memory of Medgar Evers. He is just such a joy, so funny and congenial.”

Reuben Metcalf, of Monterey, La., attends Trinity Episcopal Church in Natchez and said many members of his church made the trip to Vicksburg to see and meet the presiding bishop.

“Just wow,” he said. “He was absolutely breathtaking. He is a breath of fresh air in a slightly polluted world.”

Traveling from Jackson, St. Andrew’s member Noel Didla said she was not able to make the presiding bishop’s service in Jackson Saturday, but said even if she had, she still would have made the trip to see Curry in Vicksburg Sunday.

“He is here at the right time, and I think he’s the bishop we need right now,” she said. “I’m glad he’s here in Mississippi. Right now, as we have gone through the challenging legislative session, having this Christ-centered message foremost in the Episcopal Church, I think it’s very important we center our lives on that message. The timing is right, that’s all I can say.”