Presiding bishop preaches during Ascension Day Eucharist at New York’s St. Thomas Church

By Shireen Korkzan
Posted May 10, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] New York, New York, and York, England, concluded a week of celebrating a century as twin cities on May 9 with a special Ascension Day Mass at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached, and Archbishop of York Stephen Geoffrey Cottrell celebrated the Eucharist.

“It is a special blessing for me to be able to be with the archbishop … he has become a friend,” Curry said while preaching. “It’s a blessing to be with you.”

It was the presiding bishop’s first time preaching in the historic church, which has been celebrating its bicentennial since October 2023. This was also one of Curry’s first public engagements since having surgery on March 1 to insert a pacemaker as part of ongoing treatment of atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat. Curry has spent much of the past year facing a series of health crises and treatments recommended by doctors.

The Rev. Carl Turner, rector of St. Thomas, told Episcopal News Service before the presiding bishop arrived that the St. Thomas community was “very excited” to hear him preach. “We’ve been praying a lot for Bishop Curry,” he said.

“I’ve spent several months in and out of hospitals, and I’m so glad to be with you,” Curry said. “Your rector shared with me how many had been praying, and I thank God for you.”

Curry, who turned 71 in March, is in the final year of his nine-year term as presiding bishop. Curry’s successor, The Episcopal Church’s 28th presiding bishop, is scheduled to be elected and confirmed at the 81st General Convention and will take office on Nov. 1.

-Shireen Korkzan is a reporter and assistant editor for Episcopal News Service based in northern Indiana. She can be reached at skorkzan@episcopalchurch.org.