Wedding Service

He delivered the sermon at the royal wedding. Now he’s coming to Houston for Advent.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry is a familiar face to many Houstonians. After all, he delivered the sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Curry also holds the highest office in the Episcopal Church and is the first African American to hold that office. Soon he will appear in Houston – in the largest Episcopal Church in North America, St. Martin’s, 717 Sage Road.

The tour will begin with Advent Quiet Day, scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 11 at the church. There is a fee of $ 20 to attend in person, and the event will also be streamed live for free from the St. Martin homepage.

Bishop Michael Curry will lead the day of reflection, prayer, meditation and contemplation.

“I look forward to my Quiet Day Advent visit with St. Martin’s Church,” he said in an email.

“While I am admittedly an extrovert, something that I have come to understand as a gift from the past two years of the pandemic is the place of calm in our lives – the spiritual benefits of loneliness – and the ways in which slowing down can take us down. help rejuvenate us, reconnect with hope and align our hearts with God’s dream for our lives, ”added Curry.

St. Martin’s Director of Contemporary Music, Wayne Watson, has selected compositions to accompany the Presiding Bishop’s message.

The clergy who will join include the Reverend Victor Thomas, Rector of St. James’ Episcopal; Reverend Cynthia Briggs Kittredge, Dean and President of Southwestern Seminary; the Rev. Dr. Leigh Spruill, Rector of St. John the Divine; the Right Reverend Barkley Thompson, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral; and the Rev. Dr. Russell Levenson Jr, Rector of St. Martin’s.

Levenson explained that Advent is a season of meditation.

“The idea is that we spend time slowing down, shutting up, waiting,” he added. “I am really happy that the presiding bishop is coming at the start of Advent.”

Curry will also be joining St. Martin’s for an educational class at 10:15 am on December 12th. At 11:30 am, he will join the service, “A Festival of Lessons and Carols”.

Levenson looks forward to Curry’s visit and clearly recalled listening to Curry’s speech when he was elected the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church in 2015.

“He didn’t have any notes and was really talking to the crowd,” Levenson said. “At the end of the conference, he received a standing ovation. And I was really inspired by what I heard.

The rector then assembled a dozen clergy from more traditional churches to connect with Curry in person.

“We spent hours together, and he just listened,” Levenson recalls. “He’s a very good listener.

Levenson admires Curry’s ability to unite Episcopalians to focus on Jesus as a person. He affectionately quoted the presiding bishop as saying, “Our church needs a new encounter with Jesus Christ. I’m talking about the person, people need to meet them in a real and personal way.

“When you meet him, you just know he loves the Lord,” Levenson said. “He’s just a great guy.”

Curry was ordained a priest in 1978 and served in parishes in North Carolina, Ohio, and Maryland before being elected eleventh bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina in 2000.

Today, he is the Chief Pastor, President and CEO, and President of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.

Curry has been active in social justice issues such as racial reconciliation, climate change, immigration policy, and marriage equality. He focused on the Ministry of Crisis Control, the Absalom Jones Racial Healing Initiative, networking for daycares and educational centers, and investing in urban neighborhoods.

A native of Chicago, Curry graduated with honors from Hobart College, New York, and received an MA in Divinity from Yale University.

Her studies continued at the College of Preachers, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wake Forest University, the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary’s Seminary, and the Institute for Jewish Christian Studies.

Curry is also the author of five books, including “Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times”, published last year.

Love was also the theme of his sermon at the royal wedding, when he said, “There is a power to love.

Curry concluded, “We have to discover love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we can make this old world into a new world. “

Levenson echoed this sentiment. “If you want to change people’s behavior, you have to change their hearts,” he said.

“If we ever need a moment to remind ourselves of the joy, peace, hope and love, it’s on the heels of this pandemic,” Levenson added. “We are at a time when we have an incredible opportunity to talk about what we really need – and that includes our Lord and being together.”

Lindsay Peyton is a Houston-based freelance writer.