By The Rev. Tom Sramek, Jr., June 28, 2015

““Talitha, cum.”  Get up, girl, you’re not dead yet.
Jesus might just as well be speaking to this church…
Talitha, cum.  Get up, girl – and boy, and woman and  man – get up and dance!”
— Katherine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori preaching

In a rousing sermon at this morning’s United Thank Offering Ingathering service, Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori called upon The Episcopal Church to put our fears behind us and reach forward to touch Jesus’ cloak of healing rather than listen to those who merely wag their fingers at our plight. Highlighting the twin healing stories of the woman with the hemorrhage who was healed by touching Jesus’ cloak and the 12-year old girl who Jesus healed (or resurrected, depending on your interpretation), Presiding Bishop Schori essentially told the assembled leadership of the church to stop listening to all of the finger-wagging pundits and prognosticators who have spent at least the last 12 years sounding the death-knell of the church and proscribing ineffective “treatments” for the hemorrhage of members to turn to Jesus. “Pay no attention to the finger-wagging”, she said.  “Turn around and look for the hem of Jesus’ robe.  Go searching in new territory.  Reach out and touch what is clothing the image of God.  Give your heart to that search and you will not only find healing but become healing.”

Watch and listen to the sermon here:

House of Deputies at work
House of Deputies at work

As we near the midpoint of this General Convention, our Presiding Bishop is calling on us not to look back, but to move forward in confidence rather than getting bogged down in taking often contradictory advice from a wide variety of ecclesiastical doctors. There are many, many voices here at General Convention offering solutions–different structures, different processes, and a slew of resolutions. Having completed the bulk of the committee work this past week, this final week of General Convention will primarily consist of hours-long legislative sessions in both Houses (Bishops and Deputies) as resolutions get debated, amended, referred, and sometimes defeated. 15 hour days have not been uncommon this past week, and they are likely to continue.

As we move through this process, we ask that you pray for us, that what we do here will encourage our church to move out into our neighborhoods seeking and celebrating God’s work in the world around us, and looking to Jesus for healing and to be healing ourselves.