On Message

WASHINGTON (May 26) – With the sounds of Rolling Thunder motorcycles filling the streets of the nation’s capital in the background, a different sort of roar rolled through the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday when the Rt. Rev. Shannon Sherwood Johnston was consecrated as the bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of Virginia.

In his sermon, the Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander, Bishop of Atlanta, urged Bishop Johnston to “wear us out! Wear us out with the promise of the resurrection!”

The consecration, Bishop Alexander said, was “an act of faith, a sign of hope, a living reminder of the mission that Jesus Christ has given to the Church. It is an act of faith in God’s confidence in the Church, God’s faith in us to live boldly, perhaps even daringly.”

This day, he said, was a “bold reminder to ourselves and the world that the mission of Jesus continues. We are not prepared to give up, to let up, to hold back or to relax.”

Bishop Jefferts Schori, who served as the chief consecrator, was joined by Bishop Lee, Virginia Bishop Suffragan David Colin Jones, Bishop Alexander, Michigan Bishop Wendell Gibbs, Mississippi Bishop Duncan M. Gray III and West Virginia Bishop Michie Klusmeyer. Twenty-five other bishops also participated in the consecration.

“It was a delight to see 30 bishops of the Church gather to celebrate, and an utter delight to hear Fodor perform” Bach’s Ciaccona, Bishop Jefferts Schori said.

“The music and the preaching were all right on target,” Bishop Gibbs said. “It’s all about resurrection. We finally got back on message. Thanks be to God!”

Throughout the service, Bishop Johnston and his wife, Ellen, exchanged glances, smiles and tears across the center aisle of the cathedral….

Bishop Johnston will make his first episcopal visit to the Church of the Holy Comforter in Vienna on Sunday. “It does not get better than that, visiting that church on the Feast of Pentecost,” he said.

Emphasis added. The special edition of The Virginia Episcopalian is here.

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