Trailblazing woman bishop to speak at Redeemer in Morristown on Mother’s Day

She marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King for civil rights, and risked her neck registering black voters in Mississippi during the ’60s.

She has challenged the Episcopal Church for its views on race, gay rights and gender equality.

And she has worked for Sun Oil.

Bishop Barbara Harris

Bishop Barbara Harris

So Bishop Barbara Harris, the first woman bishop in the Anglican Communion, will have plenty to talk about when she preaches at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Morristown on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014.

“Bishop Harris has been at the forefront of justice issues for her entire life,” the Rev. Cynthia Black, Rector of Redeemer, said in a statement. “It is an honor to have her with us to share her wisdom. She is wonderfully honest in her preaching.”

She will address the 9 am Adult Forum and preach at the 10:30 am “Women’s Journeys” worship service, at 36 South St. All are invited.

Here is more from Redeemer:

On Sunday, May 11th (Mother’s Day), as part of its yearly celebration of all women, the Church of the Redeemer in Morristown will welcome the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris to its pulpit. Bishop Harris was the first woman to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion. She will speak at the 9 am Adult Forum and preach at the 10:30am “Women’s Journeys” worship service. All are welcome.

In a distinguished career spanning more than 50 years, Bishop Harris has dedicated herself to multiple human rights issues. She participated in the freedom rides and marches in the 1960s, including the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama led by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and later campaigned for the full inclusion of women in the priesthood.

Following the controversial ordination of 11 women as priests in the Episcopal Church in 1974, Bishop Harris decided to study for the priesthood herself and was ordained, first as deacon (in 1979) and as an priest (in 1980).

In the early 1980s she served at St. Augustine of Hippo Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and at Philadelphia County Prison, where she was chaplain. From 1984 to 1988 she was executive director of the Episcopal Church Publishing Company and executive director of The Witness, a socially progressive Episcopal journal.

On February 11, 1989, despite strong opposition from the archbishop of Canterbury and others, she was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of the diocese of Massachusetts. As Bishop, she continued her advocacy for women, sexual, racial and ethnic minorities, spoke against those at the Lambeth Conference in 1999 who questioned the value of women as priests, and welcomed the election of other women as bishops.

“Bishop Harris has been at the forefront of justice issues for her entire life,” said the Rev. Cynthia Black, Rector of Redeemer. “It is an honor to have her with us to share her wisdom. She is wonderfully honest in her preaching.”

 The Church of the Redeemer, located at 36 South Street, Morristown, is a Christian liberation community in the Episcopal tradition, serving the people of Morristown and beyond for more than 160 years. Sunday services are at 8:00 and 10:30 am (inclusive worship).

As part of its practice of radical hospitality, the church provides space to the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, the Eric Johnson House (part of NJ AIDS Services), a number of 12-step groups, and Empty Bowl Zendo. To learn more, please visit: www.redeemermorristown.org



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