June 2, 2020
“Q. What is the mission of the Church?
- The mission of the Church is to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”
Dear East Tennessee Friends,
I write to commend to you Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s statement on President Trump’s use of St. John’s Episcopal Church in D.C. and a Holy Bible last evening.
In our time together as Bishop and Diocese, you and I have committed ourselves to be about the core work of “reconciling all things in Christ.” That is a Gospel ministry given to all of us in our baptism. It is a work of the Church in every age, for every generation.
Such a work begins by acknowledging we live in a broken world and we serve a Church that also bears its own marks of brokenness. We are all in need of healing. Such healing requires more than my own abilities and gifts. We also need God’s Spirit to show up and create spaces of grace when we get stuck with each other.
Our country right now is dealing with a new disease of COVID-19 and we pray for all who have been impacted by the disease, both directly and indirectly. Also, we pray for those seeking a vaccine and we pray such a vaccine will be found in record time.
Our country right now is also dealing, yet again, with the old disease of racism. If we are going to address that sin, then we need to recommit ourselves to our belief that freedom and liberty and justice are for all. We need our nation’s leaders to exhibit those ideals and not exploit our divisions right now.
I have heard it said that the Church is a field hospital for the sick in our world. We are called to be healers, not only by treating symptoms, but by doing the harder work of seeking the long-haul cures for what ails us now.
Pray for our nation. Pray for the Church.