Skip to comments.First woman leader of Episcopal Church (supports ordaining gays, blessing same-sex couples)
Posted on 11/02/2006 10:18:40 PM PST by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK - Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori thought the odds she would be elected to lead The Episcopal Church were "ridiculous" absolutely against her.
"I was a woman, fairly young, I hadn't been a bishop all that long, and I was serving a diocese that's not part of the Eastern establishment," Jefferts Schori said.
The surprise? She won anyway, in balloting at the Episcopal General Convention this June.
On Saturday, Jefferts Schori will be installed as presiding bishop at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., becoming the first woman priest to lead a national church in the nearly 500-year-old Anglican Communion.
"The Bible is full of stories of the younger son being called and the outsider being called," by God to serve, Jefferts Schori said in an interview this week with The Associated Press. "I think courage is a central characteristic of leadership. If you're not willing to go into dangerous places, you have no business doing this work."
The perils for anyone leading The Episcopal Church right now are considerable.
The 2.3 million-member denomination is at the center of a worldwide Anglican feud over how to interpret what the Bible says about sexuality. Jefferts Schori unapologetically supports ordaining gays and allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples. In 2003, she voted to confirm New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. The uproar over his consecration is threatening to split the Anglican family, which The Episcopal Church represents in the United States.
"I'm clear about this role involving the entire breadth of The Episcopal Church," Jefferts Schori said. "But at some level, I don't think it's appropriate for me to disguise what my own theological understanding is. I'm someone who believes transparency is incredibly important. It's part of integrity."
Many Episcopalians are celebrating that openness. But it also has drawn protests, and her pioneering role as the church's first woman leader also has upset some.
Seven U.S. conservative dioceses have rejected Jefferts Schori's authority and asked Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Anglican spiritual leader, to assign them another national leader. Three of the dioceses do not support ordaining women.
Overseas, some tradition-minded Anglican leaders, meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, said they would snub her at the next global Anglican meeting in February.
Asked what she wanted to say to those Anglican leaders, she shrugged and said, "Get over it." On Wednesday, she asked four conservative Anglican archbishops who are meeting this month with Episcopalians challenging her authority to also make time for a session with her.
"I think the reality is clear that the archbishop of Canterbury isn't going to assign somebody to be an alternate primate" the Anglican term for a national church leader, said Jefferts Schori, who traveled to London last month to speak privately with Williams.
But she insisted she would not impose her views on anyone in the church.
Having served just five years as a bishop, Jefferts Schori knows her experience may seem all too brief for such an important job. But she has spent her life tackling outsized challenges.
She is an oceanographer who graduated from Stanford University and earned a doctorate at Oregon State, working at sea with boat captains more accustomed to all-male research crews.
A pilot with more than 500 hours logged, she flew her plane to visit parishes in the sprawling Nevada Diocese. She also rock climbs with her husband of more than 25 years, Richard Schori, a theoretical mathematician. Their daughter, 25-year-old Katharine Johanna, is a pilot in the U.S. Air Force.
Jefferts Schori decided to pursue full-time ministry after federal funding for her scientific research dried up. She earned a master's from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif., and was ordained in 1994.
As she begins work at church headquarters in Manhattan, where her predecessor Bishop Frank Griswold just finished his nine-year term, she hopes to find a way to reconcile with conservatives overseas and at home.
She believes Episcopalians should fulfill the request from Anglican archbishops that the American church stop consecrating any more gay bishops for now, and temporarily refrain from developing an official prayer service to bless same-gender couples.
"At some level if it becomes clear that the relationship is broken, that there's no possibility for a new life in that relationship, then the pastoral thing to do is to find a creative way to separate, a gracious way to separate," Jefferts Schori said. "I hope we don't have to go there. My hope is for finding life that is still present in relationships, and if we go the separation route, the door is left open and the lights on."
On the Net:
The Episcopal Church: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/
Now it's your mother's or sister's Episcopal Church.
The danger in ordaining women is made manifest in its fruit: a dead and decaying church.
That doesn't mean women are inferior. It means that the kind of women who are drawn to the ministry tend to be quick to excise the absolutely vital if (to them) disturbing and uncomfortable doctrines of Jesus Christ's suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection and to replace them with more comfortable touchy-feelly social acceptance and esteem building programs and other multicultural nonsense.
That is a recipe for death and decay.
Wheres the broom?
You are exactly right. Certainly in the small city where I live, the leftist, cafeteria Catholics strongly dominate. We even have a couple who attend our Orthodox parish for Liturgy because their more traditional Catholic priest from another town told them to when he learned they were moving here.
We certainly have them in Orthodoxy, but the difference is that something about the culture of Orthodoxy makes it such that they just live their lives how they please -- but don't expect the Church to change to fit them.
In other words, we have drop-outs, but not revolutionaries...
Or American Catholics.
A whore of babylon speaketh.
Thank you for the suggestion.
I have been trying to read up as much on this subject as possible.
I'll definitely take a look!
Such as 1 Timothy 2:12? ("But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.")
It's not grammatically complex in English (or Greek). It's pretty clear. In the church men may not be taught by women. In the church men must not be under the authority of women. It's "men" not "boys" or "girls." So one could conclude that teaching and having authority over children (male and female) is not prohibited. How does Cunningham present it?
Timothy is one of the "Pastoral Epistles" because it contains principles for the pastoral care of churches and qualifications for ministers. These principles are universal and timeless, applying even to our age/generation.
I would encourage you to check out the book I linked at post 28.
Cunningham must surely have addressed this verse. Can you give me a taste of the argument?
There are several ways to deconstruct it:
I'm sure there are more.
Churches are already excessively feminine, to the point it is hard to drag/find a man inside one. The last thing we need is even more women in leadership roles, dragging the church further into 'women's club' circles...
The fact that the devil has mowed down so many men in their roles as men and spiritual leaders is simply no reason for women not to find their place in the church just as God is calling men to do. Let both genders be raised up together. Men and women, in their God-ordained roles and callings, need each other to complete God's vision for His bride, His church, His people.
When revival comes to a nation, as it is now coming upon America, history shows that men relinquish their hammerlock on women and move in the freedom and blessing of God to raise women up to the place Jesus died to give them, and the place He honored them in His life on earth.
But when a people has let go of revival, when they move back to legalism and live under the bondage of their own understanding, men begin to throw women off the train and take back a life-constricting control of administration.
America has only recently begun to get the Biblical picture of women functioning in their true, Godly authority, which does not include lording it over men, just as God never intended men to lord it over women. We haven't SEEN men or women functioning as they are purposed by God to function. The divine perspective can be a little unsettling until it begins to take form and be productive.
Please check out Loren Cunningham's book, or any other on the subject. There are a number of them out there these days, because we are in the early stages of revival. More of this is going to come upon America (women being restored to their God-given place). Churches must choose how they will receive what God is doing. And I don't by any means want to appear to endorse women in ministry who are as out of God's purposes as the men who insist churches should be ordaining people who won't repent of sin.
The taste of the argument is found by checking out his book or buying it, or I could upload to yousendit.com an audio copy of a sermon on it which contains much of the same material as Cunningham's book, and other books, on the subject. If you are willing to FRmail me your regular Email, I will upload the sermon to a web storage site such as yousendit.com and Email you the link to download it.
Anyone with the acumen of a clam can read between these lines at fifty feet. What abomination.
Do you not see it began with the attack on men, the efforts to emasculate men as men and spiritual leaders, which has effectively gotten an enormous number of them to just pick up and vacate their roles? Women have merely stepped in to fill the void, and not been able to do a very good job of it. Restore men to their proper place of godly authority and responsibility, get them functioning under divine authority and Godly love, and the women will find their true places also.
Can you not see that the disorder is due to the moral decline of a society that has turned its back again and again on God, and that God is now restoring His people to right relationship with Him, personally, and out of that is flowing the revival that is resulting not only in salvation, but healings, mass healings, and people being raised from the dead? And not just in Third World countries any more -- right here in America.
Off topic, but reminds me of the immortal benediction from "Karnak the Magnificent" (aka Johnny Carson), who prayed, "May your wife be like Burger King and let you have it your way!"
You're right. I missed it.
It wouldn't take very many dead folks raised here in Pima County AZ to spark a revival - other than the dead folks raised to vote democrat every 2 years.