Bishop Michael Curry: Preaching on Racism in America In This Month of June 2020

During this month of June, we find ourselves in the midst of great titanic struggles, hardships, and difficulties. When important things are at stake, when the lives of God's children, and the life of the world in many respects is at stake.

Even as I speak, protestors march through our streets, protesting the way we have been. Protesting for the way we could be. Black Lives Matter, protesting in our city streets that we might learn to live the ways of justice, and mercy that reflects the heart of God's love.

And even as I speak, this month of June is Pride Month when our LGBTQ siblings remember and recall, and continue their struggle for equality and mutual respect, and human dignity in our society, in our church and throughout the world.

And even as I speak, the COVID-19 pandemic continues in strange and unanticipated ways, but it continues. This is the month of June. These are some hard times. Hard times for all, but really hard times for so many.

Sometimes it's helpful to go back and look how others navigated hard times. I went and picked up a small book. There's a book of sermons by Harry Emerson Fosdick. It was published in the mid 1940s, in 1944 I believe. It was a collection of sermons that he preached as the pastor of Riverside Church in New York City, during the Second World War when the entire world was in an apocalyptic struggle between good and evil.

One of the sermons Harry Emerson Fosdick titled, "In such a time as this, no dry-as-dust religion will do."

He pleaded with people of God to draw closer to God for strength and energy. To live lives of love, of faith, of hope. In that same period of time, he composed the hymn that's found in many of our hymnals, and I would offer it for us this week in this month of June.

God of grace and God of glory,
on thy people pour thy power;
crown thy ancient churches' story,
bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the facing of this hour . . .

Save us from weak resignation
to the evils we deplore;
let the gift of thy salvation
be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
serving thee whom we adore.
(Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1930)

God love you. God bless you. May God hold us all in those Almighty hands of love.

Used with permission, The Episcopal Church 2020.

Reference: "No Dry as Dust Religion Will Do," A Great Time to Be Alive: Sermons on Christianity in War Time, Harpers & Brothers, 1944


The Most Rev. Michael Curry

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry is Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church. He is the Chief Pastor and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as Chair of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church.

Facebook | @PBMBCurry
Twitter | @BishopCurry
Twitter | @episcopalchurch
Facebook | @episcopalian

Originally posted on Church Anew, a ministry of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN.

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