The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry, bishop suffragan for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, will retire Oct. 1, the diocese announced Wednesday.
The church said that at 14 years, Curry is the longest serving bishop suffragan in the diocese’s history. He has been an ordained minister in the diocese for 29 years.
There are no plans to replace Curry, who was elected in 2000. The diocese’s other bishops are The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, bishop suffragan, and the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, bishop diocesan.
In a video accompanying the announcement, Curry said: “In the last couple years, I’ve been increasingly feeling the call to working in building bridges of reconciliation and re-creating community across the divisions of race and class, denomination and of geography here in Connecticut.
“And quite frankly retirement’s going to give me the opportunity to do that work, a new call in God’s mission. I’m working certainly with Episcopalians but also more fully now than I have in the past with people of other faiths, other denominations, in our cities and between our cities and towns.”
Curry said that his wife retired in January and was discovering “new possibilities” that retirement affords, and “we believe that it’s time that I move into the same new kind of possibility.”
In its written announcement, the diocese said:
Bishop Curry has been a passionate advocate for justice and peace in his ministry as bishop. He has provided key leadership in the ministry areas of advocacy and justice, Spanish-speaking communities, world mission, youth and young adults, and Camp Washington. Bishop Curry’s pastoral and prophetic gifts will be greatly missed. The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, Bishop Suffragan, and the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop Diocesan, will continue to offer care and oversight to these important ministries.
According to the canons of The Episcopal Church, bishops need permission from the majority of the bishops in The Episcopal Church to “resign” their office. This permission will be sought in the next few months. There is no expectation that we will call for the election of an additional second bishop suffragan going forward for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. Plans to celebrate Bishop Curry’s ministry are in the works with a banquet in his honor planned at Diocesan Convention in Waterbury on Friday, October 24, 2014.
Let us give thanks and praise to the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the gift of Bishop Curry and for his unfailing faithfulness to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation.