In an interview before the sermon, Curry underscored the point that we’re all in this together.
He said the church is emphasizing its commitment to its anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals to reflect the Christian ideal of helping people on society’s margins.
“That’s who Jesus is,” he said.
Curry downplayed his role as the first African-American to head an Episcopal diocese in the South, a position he attained in 2000.
“A lot of the hurdles were overcome before I ever came along,” he said.
Curry was joined by Western Washington Bishop-Elect Greg Rickel and the Rev. Nedi Rivera, bishop suffragan for Western Washington and the first Hispanic bishop in the United States.
Rivera, in fact, was ordained only two years after the first Episcopal woman was ordained to the priesthood in 1977. All three bishops emphasized that the church will continue to grow by becoming more inclusive.
Rickel noted that the church is moving forward after a rift over approving the ordination of gays into the priesthood.
“I’d rather err on the side of love,” Rickel said.
Rivera said the church leaders want to nurture a yearning for shared spirituality and community, even in the “none zone” of the Pacific Northwest. She noted that even though many area residents are not churchgoers Â”” denoted by checking “none” on hospital sign-in forms ”” polls show an overwhelming majority still consider themselves spiritual.
“People are learning that they can’t just do spirituality by themselves,” she said.
“The Lord made us here together, and we’re going to discover him together,” he said.