Michael Bruce Curry (born March 13, 1953) is an American bishop who is the 27th and current presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church. Elected in 2015, he is the first African American to serve as presiding bishop in The Episcopal Church. He was previously bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina.
I met Michael Curry when he first became Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina. He worshipped regularly with us at St. Joseph’s in Durham, and then at Holy Family in Chapel Hill where we transferred. He preached at our Easter Vigil’s and once spent all of Holy Week with us. I have prayed beside him, even considered becoming a groupie to follow him from church to church. His humor, preaching, and magnetism made my three young granddaughters wide-eyed as they listen to him in the darkened church. It seemed the candle that aluminated his dark face and shining white teeth were all the light needed. At the Royal Wedding, the stiff-upper-lip royalty spent most of their time looking at their programs evidently embarrassed by the exuberance. There was nary a smile except for the wedding couple themselves. Here at home, we swayed with the black gospel choir, were filled with pride and love for this preacher-man, who spoke of love to the millions watching. He is an amazing, holy man, a towering presence in the lives of believers. Look no further than this engaging man to remind yourself, “You never cede control of your own ability to be successful to something called racism.” – Condoleezza Rice.
The Royal Wedding Sermon: “Think and imagine a world when love is the way. … Because when love is the way, we treat each other like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all. And we are brothers and sisters, children of God. My brothers and sisters, that’s a new Heaven, a new Earth, a new world, a new human family.
― Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza “Condi” Rice is an American diplomat, political scientist, civil servant, and professor who served as the 66th United States Secretary of State from 2005 to 2009 and as the 20th United States National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005.
“The fact is, race is a constant factor in American life. Yet reacting to every incident, real or imagined, is crippling, tiring, and ultimately counterproductive. I grew up in a family that believed that you might not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your reaction to them. There was no room for being a victim or depending on the white man to take care of you.”
― Condoleezza Rice, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family
The first book I bought and downloaded on a new Kindle was Rice’s Extraordinary, Ordinary People. I hope I live long enough to cast a vote for her Presidency. Her story, interests, and endless talents are inspirational. As a child, she was molded into a classical pianist, as well as a competitive figure skater. Professionally, she was taught to be a fearless leader and pursue her goals with limitless horizons. She followed in her father’s footsteps, a career in academia. In 1993, Stanford University appointed her as its provost; making Rice the youngest person ever and first African American to hold that prestigious position.
I write about these “Vital Few” and add Jesse Owens’s words that still apply if you expect to achieve and succeed “We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, discipline, and effort.” It is not racism that holds us back but ignoring Jesse Owen’s timeless formula.