The Most Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, brought a message of hope and love of God and neighbor to Lawrence.
He began his visit at Esperanza Academy, which holds classes in the parish hall of the adjacent Grace Episcopal Church. The middle-schoolers gave him a welcome fit for a rock star.
All of the students at Esperanza are girls. Most of them are from families with limited incomes. The school was established in 2006 by Grace Church and Christ Episcopal Church in Andover. The school operates independently and offers a rigorous curriculum. The goal is to equip graduates for success in secondary school and college.
"Don't think the impossible is not possible," Curry told the students. "Don't you give up on yourselves."
After meeting with the students and answering numerous questions, he headed next door to Grace Episcopal Church, where he listened to local residents' experiences of the Sept. 13 gas disaster.