The Union of Black Episcopalians opened its annual business meeting in Los Angeles with a rousing celebration of three African American women who have been consecrated as diocesan bishops in just the past year.

Episcopal News Service reports that one of them, West Tennessee Bishop Phoebe Roaf, said in her sermon at the first-day Eucharist on July 21:

“The past few years have uncovered a level of hatred far greater than I ever imagined from my fellow American citizens. These are scary times we’re living in. We need to acknowledge it and not be paralyzed by it.”

She had a more hopeful message as well: “The unique experiences of black folk have uniquely prepared us for such a time as this. The work is hard; it’s challenging, and it’s life-giving,” Roaf said,

The business meeting continues through July 26. Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry is expected to preach at a youth and young adult service at 7 p.m. California time on July 24, at All Saints Church in Pasadena. The service will be live-streamed at allsaints-pas.org/live-stream.

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