As I told you, I took the day off for Sabbath and only
connected with Convention news when i attended the
Berkeley dinner this evening. That's when I found
out. They elected The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts
Schori, Bishop of Nevada, for the next Presiding
Bishop. The only woman on the slate, and the most
liberal candidate, fully in support of the inclusion
of gays and lesbians at all levels of the church.
Her bio from the Episcopal News Service is pasted
At the Berkeley dinner the mood was elated. Bp. John
Chane of Washington, D. C. said that this proves
"listening to the Holy Spirit drives a process that by
human hands would have been impossible." He said
there was not a lot of politicking at the election,
but lots of hymns and prayer. Bp. Jeffrey Rowthorn,
retired bishop of Europe, sat at my table: he said
that as they read out the count for the last ballot,
there was a moment of stunned silence, like everyone
was thinking "i can't believe we just did that." Then
the whole place erupted in applause. I sat next to
George Conger, priest and reporter for the Living
Church and other publications. He showed me the
ballot count. She was elected on the 5th ballot, but
had tied for the lead on the 1st and stayed there.
Second in the running was Henry Parsley, Bp. of
Alabama. Jenkins never had a chance. After about the
second ballot, all the traditionalists seem to have
migrated toward Parsley and the progressives toward
Schori. Congar said he was on the phone with Lambeth
palace just after it happened -- the Archbishop of
Canterbury was in evening prayer and had no statement
as of yet. He called back 30 min. later and was told
the prepared statement (ready for the insertion of the
name of whoever won) had been torn up, and the
Archbishop himself would write the official statement
(which he rarely does). Congar predicted the Queen
would be incensed: she never appoints women priests to
the chaplaincies she controls, and the Queen Mother
(God rest her soul) refused to recieve communion from
women priests. congar and I discussed the
ramifications of this election for the Communion.
Several provinces, of course, still do not believe
women to be validly ordained. This means they can't
be assured of the validity of any Eucharists,
ordinations, or consecrations of bishops that Schori
presides over (I don't know WHAT we'll do in Albany
come September, when our consecration is scheduled.
Hopefully Griswold will still be in office.). This
means our very claim to the historic episcopate could
be in jeaopardy in the future. (great move for
ecumenical relations, I gotta say in all sarcasm)
When I asked Congar what the Primates' meetings will
be like, he replied, "Well, they'll have to build
Also present at the dinner were the Rev. Harold Lewis,
dressed in his best white suit, Bp.
Bennison, and Harry Attridge. Dean Britton expressed
over and over again, during his own remarks and
inbetween the remarks of others, as MC, what a great
day this was and how elated we all must feel. He
claimed that "as a church we have grown impatient with
our lack of attention to the gospel [by which he means
the gospel of social justice and inclusion)" and that
"we are all feeling the pressure of the Spirit calling
us back to the bedrock of the identity of the church
as a place of the gospel." He repeated several times
that students at Berkeley want to be firmly "grounded
in the gospel".
congar showed me some of his notes from short reaction
interviews with several important figures. Kieth
Ackerman, when asked what do we do, said something
like, "Well, if you believe our church is protestant,
get out now. If you believe our church is catholic,
stay in and wait for the councils of the church -- in
a catholic church decisions are made by the [wider]
councils and not by one particular church." That's
slightly paraphrased because I dont' have the direct
quote in front of me. Words like 'devastating' and
'destructive' were used by my bishops. Most everyone
else, though, is highly elated.
Congar thought this left-ward swing would be balanced
by a right-ward swing on the Windsor response. I
wouldn't bet on it, if my time watching the HoB is any
Ok, that's all I've got. More tomorrow when I get the
response of my delegation and can talk to my bishops.
God help us. I'd love to hear your thoughts, of
course, but mostly just be assured your prayers are
mingled with mine.
The Peace of the Lord,
Katharine Jefferts Schori, 51, was consecrated the
ninth Bishop of Nevada on February 24, 2001. She
serves a diocese of some 6,000 members in 35
congregations. Jefferts Schori is the first woman
selected as a nominee for Presiding Bishop.
Her service to the wider church includes current
membership on the Special Commission on the Episcopal
Church and the Anglican Communion; the Board of
Trustees, Church Divinity School of the Pacific in
Berkeley, California; the CREDO Advisory Board; the
House of Bishops peer coaching program; the General
Board of Examining Chaplains; the Board for Church
Deployment; the House of Bishops' Pastoral
Development, Racism, and Planning Committees; the
Court for Review of a Trial of a Bishop; the Episcopal
visitor team for the Community of the Holy Spirit; and
the Bishops of Small Dioceses group.
From 2001-2003 she was a member of the 20/20 Strategy
Group, and served as secretary of the House of Bishops
Ministry Committee at the 2003 General Convention.
She is the author of "When Conflict and Hope Abound,"
Vestry Papers (March-April 2005); "Building
Bridges/Widening Circles" in Preaching Through Holy
Days and Holidays: Sermons that Work XI, Roger Alling
and David J. Schlafer, eds. Morehouse (2003);
"Multicultural Issues in Preaching" in Preaching
Through the Year of Matthew: Sermons That Work X,
Roger Alling and David J. Schlafer, eds. Morehouse
(2001); and "The Nag" in Preaching Through the Year of
Luke: Sermons That Work IX, Roger Alling and David J.
Schlafer, eds. Morehouse (2000). Her Maundy Thursday
sermon was included in What Makes This Day Different?
by David Schlafer, Cowley (1998).
She is an active, instrument-rated pilot with more
than 500 hours logged.
At the time of her election as bishop of Nevada,
Jefferts Schori was assistant rector at the Episcopal
Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis, Oregon,
where she also served as pastoral associate, dean of
the Good Samaritan School of Theology, and
priest-in-charge, El Buen Samaritano, Corvallis. She
was ordained deacon and priest in 1994. Prior to
ordination, she was a visiting assistant professor at
Oregon State University's Department of Religious
Studies, a visiting scientist at Oregon State
University's Department of Oceanography, and an
oceanographer with the National Marine Fisheries
Service in Seattle.
She received a B.S. in biology from Stanford
University, 1974; an M.S. in oceanography from Oregon
State University, 1977; a Ph.D. from Oregon State
University, 1983; an M.Div. from Church Divinity
School of the Pacific, 1994; and a D.D. from Church
Divinity School of the Pacific, 2001.
Jefferts Schori was born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola,
Florida. She has been married to Richard Miles Schori.