by Danny Schweers, Saints Andrew & Matthew, Wilmington
Bishop Wright and his wife, Holly, recently said “Good-bye” to many of their friends and fellow Episcopalians at three receptions held across Delaware. At the last, at St. David’s, Wilmington, Governor Jack Markell awarded Bishop Wright the Order of the First State, the highest honor for meritorious service granted by Delaware’s governor.
“Bishop Wright has been an extraordinary leader for the Episcopal Church and also for the State of Delaware,” said Gov. Markell, grateful to make the award in his last week in office, grateful to have the friendship of Bishop Wright during his terms in office. Twice in his remarks, the governor lauded the bishop’s strength of character in addressing issues of criminal justice, substance abuse, LGBT issues, and more.
In response, Bishop Wright said that the twenty years he and Holly have lived in Delaware have been the best of their lives, that it has been a pleasure and an honor to live and serve among such wonderful people, to work with clergy and other leaders, and to serve with all those members of the Episcopal Church who so faithfully minister to everyone here in Delaware, the place where their son grew up and went to college, and the place where Holly has worked as a nurse practitioner at Christiana Care Health System.
As an aside, Bishop Wright told a story about his license plate. The Diocese of Delaware has its own license plates, issued by the state. (Please contact the Bishop’s Office if you would like one.) Bishop Wright’s license plate is ‘1’. Aside from the honor, there are downsides. With that prominent license plate on his car, the Bishop has had to drive exceptionally carefully and courteously, perhaps not something he always did before getting the plate. It also attracts people’s attention. One day, while Bishop Wright was pumping gas into his car at a filling station in Georgetown, a young couple approached him, obviously delighted to see him even though he had never met them. “This is so exciting,” they said. “We never thought we’d get a chance to meet the governor!”
These three receptions — including the one at St. George’s Chapel, Harbeson, and the one at Christ Church, Milford — mirror the three receptions held in 1998 when Bishop Wright was first introduced to the people of Delaware.
Other chances for you to say “Good-bye” to Bishop Wright and Holly will be at the Diocesan Convention, Friday and Saturday, January 27–28, 2017. Bishop Wright will make his farewell speech at the 7:00 p.m. banquet on Friday, will attend the Friday Night Social with Holly beginning at 8:30 p.m., will celebrate Eucharist on Saturday at 11:15 a.m., and will attend the luncheon at 12:30 p.m. that day. To attend one or more of these events at Convention, please contact the Bishop’s Office at 302-256-0374. Tickets are available for the whole convention including meals, to attend the convention without meals, to attend only the Friday banquet and social, and to attend the Saturday lunch. Click here to register for convention.
Bishop Wright’s last day as Bishop of Delaware will be Tuesday, February 28, 2017. In July, a Special Convention will take place to select Delaware’s next Episcopal bishop from among those candidates nominated by the Search Committee and those nominated by petition. Then, before the year is out, on December 9, 2017, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, is scheduled to be in Delaware for the ordination and consecration of our next Bishop.