On a snowy Dec. 9, about 750 people witnessed a two-hour service of consecration of the Rt. Rev. Kevin S. Brown as 11th Bishop of Delaware.
The Rev. Amanda K. Robertson, associate rector at Brown’s former parish — Holy Comforter in Charlotte, North Carolina — preached the sermon, which drew appreciative laughter and murmurs of agreement. She acknowledged her former boss as an admired colleague and friend.
“Remember your authority,” she urged Brown. “As bishop, you will be entrusted with oversight that is intended to be rooted in relationship and respect. Even someone as committed as you are to serving alongside, and not over, to uplifting others’ gifts and ministries, and giving credit where credit is due — even you must accept the imbalance of power and authority that will exist in most of your daily interactions. You will need confidantes and counselors who are able to speak as freely as you are.
“The Holy Spirit invoked in blessing and consecration is the power by which the raw material of our lives becomes holy. And so it is that in just a moment’s time, a craft beer- and baseball-loving man from the mountains of North Carolina, a scholar of mathematics and ecumenism, a treehouse-building father and fan, along with his younger daughter, of Arcade Fire, will be made a bishop in our Church. Come, Holy Spirit.”
Brown grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and studied mathematics and psychology at Duke University. He completed his master of business administration at the University of West Florida while in the U.S. Air Force, worked in finance and marketing at FedEx, and launched an investment firm before earning a master of divinity from the General Theological Seminary in New York City.
Adapted from Lola Michael Russell, staff writer for Delaware Communion