Dear friends in Christ,

I have heard from many of you who have shared your experience of the Presiding Bishop’s visit. To a person, the responses have been positive – this does not come as a surprise. Bishop Curry’s reputation as an inspirational and relatable speaker and preacher is renowned. As I reflect on his visit, the words “sweet music” describe the effect of his presence and words.  

Listening to music we love, music that energizes or centers us transports us to a place that is heart-centered; a place that is joyful, even ecstatic at times.  Beyond the soulful wisdom that he shares, Bishop Curry’s presence has the effect of listening to sweet music. There is a quality of connection to self, others, and God that is more akin to the way we enjoy a beautiful piece of music or a painting than simply listening to compelling theology. I’ll borrow from him now and say, “but don’t get me wrong,” Bishop Curry has certainly given us language to articulate our faith clearly and courageously. But the difficult-to-describe dimension of his presence is less about being a celebrity and more about the way his very being inspires, uplifts, connects, and grounds us. For me, it is similar to listening to one of my favorite songs or gazing at a piece of art – there is a sweet combination of beauty and delight that words don’t really capture.

I will say more about his visit in the future, but for now, I’m still relishing the sweet music of his words, laughter, down-to-earth manner, and delight in all that he heard, witnessed, and enjoyed while visiting our unique corner of The Episcopal Church. One of the fun experiences we shared was tasting donuts from some of Portland’s local donut shops. We captured this on video, and this morning we want to give you just a sample of that sweet music. The full video is to come. I will say this: the donuts were sweet but even sweeter was the laughter and friendship.

Enjoy! and Blessings,