US Episcopal Church makes history by electing 1st black presiding bishop

ReutersBishop Michael Curry,the incoming presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church, leads hundreds of marchers through the streets to protest gun violence as part of their convention in Salt Lake City on Sunday.

Following the horrific Charleston church shooting that claimed the lives of nine church members from the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church recently, the US Episcopal Church made history on Saturday as it elected its first black presiding bishop at its general conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bishop Michael Curry, 62, of North Carolina reportedly won in a landslide vote to replace outgoing Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first female to lead their denomination. Curry was one of the four bishops being considered for the position and he won with 121 votes, while his closest competitor only got 21 votes.

Curry will take over from Schori on Nov. 1.

During their general convention, which is held every three years, members of the US Episcopal Church tackled the issues of same-sex marriage, gun violence, Israel-Palestinian conflict, and outreach programs.

With regards to same sex marriage, the Episcopal denomination noted that it already approved a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationship during its 2012 convention. This year, they would be expanding their gay and lesbian inclusion in the church. They would also be modifying the canonical definition of marriage.

In fact, one of their church leaders, Rt. Reverend Gene Robinson, is widely known as the first priest who has an openly gay relationship.

At the same time, those who attended the Episcopal general convention also came up with resolutions with regards to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One of the proposals called on church members to divest from Israel or companies that do business with Israel because of "Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories," but Schori strongly opposed such a move.

At the same time, they also came up with several resolutions with regards to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One of the proposal called on church members to divest from Israel or companies that do business with Israel because of "Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories," but Schori strongly opposed the move.

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