Bishop Ward recently met with Saint Augustine’s University President, Dr. Everette Ward, and Anne Hodges-Copple, suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, to pray and work together, considering ways to partner in ministry in southeast Raleigh, while celebrating our common call to serve God and work for justice and mercy with other communities of faith.
BISHOP WARD: Peace to you today.
I give thanks for this opportunity to be at Saint Augustine’s University and to be in the beautiful chapel and to be here with friends from both the Presbyterian and the Episcopal communion. Dr. [Everett] Ward is president of this wonderful university, and Bishop Anne [Hodges-Copple] is my colleague bishop in the Episcopal communion. We are in front of this beautiful baptismal font created many many years ago by students from stone quarried. Could you tell us a little about this wonderful picture that’s behind me?
DR. WARD: Well, what you have is Bishop Henry Beard Delany, who was a student at Saint Augustine’s, who went on to become dean here at the University, professor, and also the first African-American suffragan Bishop here in the state of North Carolina. His legacy here at Saint Augustine’s is a testimony of what hard work, strong faith, and a belief in future generations can achieve together.
Today we celebrate his life, his legacy, and we just continue to know that message that, “to whom much is given, much is required,” and Bishop Delany showed us through his life, and he continues to show us through his legacy, that service is truly the testimony to God’s walk.
BISHOP WARD: Bishop Anne we are so glad to be together with you and through you with all of our Episcopal friends and neighbors.
BISHOP ANNE: Well, it is a special joy because I think what we kind of are presenting here today is a deep history of celebrating our particularity in some ways, Episcopal and Raleigh and the South, but also how we can do things better together from some different particularities. So, just as Bishop Delaney had to kind of push through some barriers and some obstacles to tear down some walls and build up some signs and symbols of our oneness, our unity, I suspect that the three of us, representing some different communities, have such an overlapping love of Raleigh and an overlapping love of creation, and students, and education, and transformation, so I’m thinking this, here as we’re coming up on what we would call the feast day for Bishop Delaney and we’re about to break bread together, I wonder what kind of table the Lord is setting for us, that we might do some new things together to tear down walls and build up community. I’m excited to have such great partners.
BISHOP WARD: We pray this sort of partnership in every place across the North Carolina annual conference.