SEPA Bishop Davenport Honored

Bishop Patricia A. Davenport was honored recently with citations from Mayor Jim Kenney and the state House of Representatives at a reception at City Hall on Dec. 13.  Various city officials shared remarks during the ceremony.

State Rep. Joanna McClinton, a Democrat who represents the 191st District covering parts of Philadelphia and Delaware County, read part of a proclamation by the legislature congratulating the Bishop for her “life’s work of blessing and inspiring so many.”

“As a young woman I am inspired and encouraged by you breaking barriers in the house of worship,” McClinton told the Bishop.

A citation from U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans was also shared. It reads in part, ” Whereas, Bishop Davenport is the first African-American woman to be elected as bishop of the four million membership ELCA; and Whereas Bishop Davenport previously served as the Director for Evangelical Mission and Assistant to the Bishop for the Synod . . .Be it known that we celebrate the accomplishments of Bishop Patrician Ann Curtis Davenport. . . ”

Bishop Davenport shared brief remarks, that were met with applause and calls of “Amen!”, with officials and Lutherans in attendance. “The five-county area should be different because Lutherans are in it.”

“Our faith informs what we do in the communities where we have been planted to grow. So our schools should be stronger, crime should be lower, the opioid crisis should not exist, because we are there.”

The ceremony was sponsored by Fun Times magazine, which features a profile of Bishop Davenport and coverage of the Synod in its current issue. In the interview, Bishop Davenport reflected on the future of the church.

Instead of the Church giving “hand-outs” it will shift to “hand-up,” which goes beyond the ordinary generous gesture. Her new approach will transition into empowering the less fortunate in the community. The bishop is striving to accomplish the empowerment of congregants and other members in the various communities. Assisting folks to maximize their God given gifts to attain self-reliance and independence is one of Bishop Davenport’s burning desires for her people.

Bishop Davenport shared, “We’re not just going to provide our people with hot meals in soup kitchens but actually help them place food they have worked for on their own tables in their homes.”

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