Senior Pastor Sutton to preach as part of week’s Amp sermon series


Mary Lee Talbot
Staff writer 

The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland since 2008, and senior pastor of Chautauqua Institution, will preach at the 9:15 a.m. Thursday morning worship service in the Amphitheater. 

Sutton is the second chaplain to take the pulpit in the stead of the Most Rev. Michael Curry, 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, who had to cancel this week due to health reasons. Sutton’s sermon title this morning is “Ephphatha!”

A noted speaker on Christian spirituality, racial justice, nonviolence and the environment, Sutton served as canon pastor of the Washington National Cathedral and director of its Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage from 2000 to 2008. He co-founded Contemplative Outreach of Maryland and Washington, an ecumenical network of those committed to the daily practice of centering prayer. He is a contributor to the books, The Diversity of Centering Prayer, and Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace: Challenging the Epidemic of Gun Violence.

Sutton is recognized as a leader on the issue of racial reparations, testifying before the U.S. Congress with author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Danny Glover, economist Julianne Malveaux and others for Congressional Bill HR40. 

That bill calls for the establishment of a national bipartisan commission to study and make recommendations for addressing reparations as a restitution for slavery and racial discrimination. 

He has appeared on National Public Radio, Fox News, PBS, the Chautauqua Institution platform and several other educational and religious institutions on the necessity of taking concrete actions of justice in order to achieve racial reconciliation in America.

His board memberships include the Institute for Christian, Jewish and Islamic Studies, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

After this summer season, Sutton and his wife, Sonya Subbayya Sutton, will return to Baltimore and Washington while he completes his tenure as bishop in May 2024, and she continues in her position as director of music at the Falls Church in Virginia. New Chautauqua homeowners, they  will divide their time in future years between their year-round cottage on the grounds, as well as their residence in Washington, D.C.


The author Mary Lee Talbot

Mary Lee Talbot writes the recap of the morning worship service. A life-long Chautauquan, she is a Presbyterian minister, author of Chautauqua’s Heart: 100 Years of Beauty and a history of the Chapel of the Good Shepherd. She edited The Streets Where We Live and Shalom Chautauqua. She lives in Chautauqua year-round with her Stabyhoun, Sammi.