A Message from the Presiding Bishop
In the seventeenth chapter of the book of Acts, a leader in the city of Thessalonika, on hearing that the apostle Paul and his colleagues were arriving in town, declared that “these persons who have turned the world upside down have come here also.”
It was, in many ways, a world that needed to be turned upside down.
It was a world in which a substantial gap existed between those who enjoyed the benefits of privilege and the many who did not.
It was a world marked by impressive institutions and a powerful establishment, but also by an increasing sense of uncertainty, anxiety, and resentment.
Similar things could very well be said of our world today, as we all have seen and heard and experienced in these uncertain times in which we live.
Now, as then, we need people who will turn the world upside down.
We need to BE people who will turn the world upside down, which really is right side up, a beloved community in which no powers or principalities, no system of domination, will continue to hurt or harm any child of God.
How does this change happen?
As with Paul and his colleagues, it starts with kerygma, proclamation, good and faithful preaching that is grounded in, and focused on, the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
And as with those apostles long ago, our preaching is effective only as we live out what we say, as we together strive to be a bold and counter-cultural community of faith and hope and love.
My sisters and brothers, my siblings in Christ, may we preach boldly … and may we truly practice what we proclaim.
Then we too may well be described as a people who have turned our world upside down, as a church that looks and acts like Jesus
—The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church