Thursday, 17 May 2012

My favourite Bishop


May 17th 2012


17 on the 17th: Virginia Theological Seminary conferred an honorary Doctor in Divinity degree upon Bishop Barbara C. Harris during its commencement ceremony today. It's her 17th


Barbara Harris was the first woman to be ordained as Bishop in the Anglican Communion, way back in 1989.

She served as a  Suffragan (Assistant)  Bishop in the Diocese of Massachusetts until her retirement in 2003.

Bishop Harris came out from Boston  to St. Stephen’s, Pittsfield, MA in 1992.  I was then Rector at St. Stephen’s and we were celebrating the centenary of the consecration of the second St. Stephen’s church building (by the famous Bishop Phillips Brooks) on 19th November 1892.

When I moved to Cambridge, MA in 2000 Barbara Harris became my own Bishop. What an honour!

These days (both retired) we are friends, and we have great ‘phone chats three or four times a year (I brag).  She has a wicked and rib-tickling sense of humour.

I honour her bold proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I am in awe of her fearless and unwavering commitment to G-d’s justice as it is known in the old and new testaments

I am angry that this sister in Christ has had to endure so much hateful speech, racism, vitriol and misogyny.

I am inspired by her feisty dignity when she is under fire.

Here is what she said when she was ordained as a Bishop back in 1989.

"I certainly don't want to be one of the boys. I want to offer my peculiar gifts as a black woman...sensitivity and an awareness that comes out of more than a passing acquaintance with 
oppression.

AMEN

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