February 2, 2020: All Souls Visits a Revival! by Elizabeth Terry
By Elizabeth Terry

Last Sunday afternoon, The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, preached at the DC “More Jesus, More Love Revival.” Revival? Doesn’t that word conjure up a Billy Graham “Crusade,” or a massive summer service under a tent with fire-and-brimstone sermonizing? Not something that happens in the Episcopal Church, surely? Curry himself related the Archbishop of Canterbury’s skepticism when he told the Anglican Primate of his plans for his next trip to Washington. And yet, for the twenty-odd All Souls parishioners who attended the revival, the real question might be: when’s the next one?

Besides Curry’s exuberant preaching style, for which he is now world-famous thanks to his participation in a certain royal wedding, the congregation at the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in southeast DC, on the campus of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital (an area undergoing a revival of its own), enjoyed Spanish-language folk hymns and rousing gospel anthems; our own Bishop of Washington, Mariann Edgar Budde, alternating between Spanish and English as she presided over a worship service; and personal testimonials -- some videotaped with children, some delivered live by young adults -- about the importance of faith and church communities.

I asked the members of the All Souls contingent to share with me some of their favorite moments from the revival. Here’s what our parishioners had to say about this unusual, uplifting service:

It was a wonderful experience! I liked all the enthusiasm as I had never been to a revival before.  Being bilingual, it was interesting to see and hear the Spanish music and prayers. I give lots of credit to Bishop Curry’s translator, she was terrific.  — Susan Bouzas

[As an aside, watching the talented interpreter, Dinorah Padro, successfully keep up with both Curry’s expressive language and his movement around the stage was one of my highlights as well!]

Among the many big “pluses” was having the fine opportunity to talk to my seatmates, three lovely ladies from a historically black Episcopal church in Baltimore where now-Bishop Curry was once a rector. A nice “bringing together of people.” — Terry Adlhock

I thought the revival was a good effort by Bishop Curry to convey his message about what this world needs now is more love. I couldn't argue with that. — Mark Hoffman

I enjoyed the vibrant worship. And hearing the testimonies, particularly from the children, about why they love Jesus. It highlighted the importance of children's ministry, and of church as a family. — Sophie Knight

Joe and I loved it. The two bishops are great, and seem to be on the same wavelength to open up our dwindling church to new people and new approaches to worship. I think we should take this message to heart. — Embry Howell

I have always been aware that in the scripture that says Love God; love your neighbor as yourself, there is the implicit assumption that you know how to love yourself well. The Presiding Bishop’s great sermon really brought home this point that the new part of Jesus’s commandment was the part about loving ourselves in a healthy way that we then can also transfer to our brothers and sisters. — Kurt Jacobs

When I, along with others in the audience, received a magnet of the "Love Your Neighbor" banner, I proudly shared with the person next to me that the design was created by our All Souls Episcopal Church. I especially directed her attention to the thought "Love your neighbor who doesn't vote like you." She nodded and exclaimed, “Yes!” — vEnessa Acham

Wow, what a Revival!  Great music, inspiring worship, compelling teaching, honest faith-sharing, good prayers, and a directive from our Presiding Bishop to engage with the mission of God: We are to go out into the world with our hearts as open as the heart of God… who loves us, each and every one of us. More Jesus, More Love! — Karen Kucik

If you missed it, you can find video from the revival at the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s website. And don’t miss out again—when the next revival comes around, be there!

Last Published: January 30, 2020 2:30 PM
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