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/
Asked what she wanted to say to those Anglican leaders, she shrugged and said, "Get over it."
The leftists are the real dividers, whether in the churches, or in politics.
Do you suppose that this is the reason that the Bible teaches that women are to be quiet in church and they are not to be Pastors?
Her election was an intentional "I dare you to discipline us" slap in the face to the traditional majority in the worldwide Anglican communion
And then she has the gall to say "get over it?"
I was raised in the Episcopal church, was an altar boy,, poured the wine and counted noses for the Reverend for Communion. After I went in the service, I remember coming home on leave and my Dad said we had a new Minister, a woman, and a pretty liberal one at that, she was only there a couple years, not everyone in the congregation was enamored of her apparently.
I miss my old ministers, one used to come out and hunt rails on some our marshy land, another was a two fisted drinker, he was always fun at Communion. they're all probably dead by now, but they definitely left impressions of what a minister could be,, I'm not so sure those today understand how far they have strayed from the teachings that used to work just fine for the congregation.
I'm Roman Catholic. There is no doubt that there is a leftist, cafeteria-style Christian movement in all denominations. It is more divisive and dangerous than any other differences.
Universalism moves into the Episcopal church. I have always wondered why the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America never dropped "Lutheran" from its' name since it goes against the grain of so much that Martin Luther taught.
I've not heard that expression, cafeteria-style. I've always called it,"Burger King Religion", that is , "have it your way". LOL
It's Cardinal Ratzinger's (Pope Benedict) term...as in "the cafeteria is closed."
The Episcopal church was pretty much shot anyway, wasn't it?
The gays have taken over my Episcopal church in Mission, KS. Such a shame.
"The Bible is full of stories of the younger son being called and the outsider being called," by God to serve, Jefferts Schori said
Sorry, Honey. You weren't called by God; you were elected (in balloting) by a group of people, probably to further an agenda incompatible with God's.
** Do you suppose that this is the reason that the Bible teaches that women are to be quiet in church and they are not to be Pastors? **
Catholic doctrine and liturgical laws actually comport with this.
Cafeteria-ism was established by Luther; he got rich selling franchises to many others.
** Her election was an intentional "I dare you to discipline us" slap in the face **
In the grand tradition of Luther.
Do you guys know why you don't see a lot of Episcopalians playing chess anymore?
It's because thay can no longer distiguish a Bishop....
From a Queen. (Ba-dum, crash!)
Martin Luther didn't start the Lutheran Church.. those after him(others) did..
That being said, for what it's worth, I believe we are in a time when Christians, Jews and just plain Americans of all stripes need to put aside our differences--both small and large, real and imagined, past and present--and circle the wagons. As everyone here knows, we're facing a determined, intelligent, patient and utterly ruthless enemy coming from the middle east.
Here in America, we're so overloaded with our many distractions, and we get so readily into pissing contests with one another at the drop of a hat, we're in danger of overlooking the real thing.
Let's not. Let's focus on getting our large, clumsy and often corrupt government to perform its most central responsibility: to protect us from these unorthodox, guerilla dangers. And the first step is for we citizens to identify the real enemies.
If we start doing it, even the democrats may take the hint and join in.
OK, lost my head there. But that only means it's even more important for us to do the job.
My church is pulling out of the Vineyard movement because they have decided that it is okay to have women pastors.
My pastor thinks that having women pastors is un-Biblical.
I think my pastor is right.
I was not referring to any denomination.
I was referring to Luther's own actions.
Your Pastor IS right. I can show you the rules about this from the New Testament. Your Pastor already knows what books and verses.
A universal united Church was Jesus' command and his burning desire (that they may be one), and the obvious manifestation of that command and idea is the Catholic Church with a pope who, doctrinally, is the earthly pastor of ALL true Christians.
To be truly Catholic, one must willingly submit to a pastor.
Our pastor did a sermon about those parts of the Bible.
I already knew them.
The thing is that people that are for women being pastors just don't have good arguments. They don't use the Bible as their source for their reasons. It's all about their experiences or what they think is correct.
...doctrinally and ideally the pastor of all...
I meant to express the ideal that the Church aims to be.
That, my friend, takes us back to the basics. Do we do what WE think correct and right or do we do what God's Word tells us? The good thing about American, and it's happened to me, that if you find the doctrines of one church not Biblical and too your suiting, you can go down the street until you find a church that you are comfortable with. I, personally like the old traditional myself.
I used to have questions about it. Over a long period of time, with intense study of the issue and its fruit, I have changed my mind.
An amazon.com reader's review:
This book opened my eyes to the difference between the beliefs we hold from our upbringing and culture, and the beliefs actually based on the Word of God. This book is very factual, exhaustively researched, and infinitely practical. In "Why Not Women", Loren Cunningham explains the history behind the oppression of women in Greek and Roman societies which led to centuries of discrimination in our western society, and even infiltrated the Church. He shows how Jesus and the early church were truly revolutionary in their equal treatment of women. David Hamilton digs into the controversial passages in God's Word to show how our preconceived biases have tainted our interpretation of these verses. He clearly breaks down the original language of the text in order to show what the writers were truly saying. If you are willing to let God's Word, not your opinions, determine what is truth, this book will open your eyes to God's heart for women, and the giftings and callings he has given them.
Interesting definition for "a calling to the ministry."
I, too, was raised in the Episcopal Church (EC). My brothers were acolytes; my sister and I sang in the youth choir. I accepted Jesus as my Savior in an Episcopal Church Sunday School class. I owe my eternal life to the faithfulness of the people in my little Episcopal Church, as well as to the Lord who died for me. But I cannot tell you how I grieve for the direction this church has gone. I left it when I was in my early 20's and went to a non-denominational, charismatic church. I could never go back to the EC except to visit, but there were aspects of their worship services that move me to this day, especially the reverence they put into getting one's heart right before Communion, and the sense they helped usher into the services of the majesty and holiness of God (as I say, how far they've fallen).
As with you, I also had some interesting ministers. My first EC minister was a great pastor, but he was the only one about whom I can say that. Not one after him was someone I could cotton to. One was insulting and verbally abusive to me when I asked him to be a reference for me on my college application. I never figured out what got into him. He was a big, extremely obese, cigar-smoking, domineering man. He always frightened me but that day, I walked out of his office in tears and I never spoke a word to him after that unless forced to. When I got married, I refused to let him come near me, and had the associate minister perform the ceremony.
I don't see how the more conservative elements of the EC are going to be able to remain in the mix with the liberal elements. "How can two walk together, except they be agreed?"
I never had any problems with priests - until now. My priest is about my height and from Poland and runs around wearing "Proud Member of the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy."
"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,"
Does this mean she is willing to let traditionalist parishes separate in an orderly way, with their buildings, etc?
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
Why would any moral person be an episcopalian?
It is becoming the religion of the democrat party, a freak show cult.
My 73 year old mother is still Episcopalian. She is a very moral person and is heart broken over what has become of her church.
That said, my husband and I left when our children were young.
The hand writing was on the wall and we decided it was not the place to raise children. It was very difficult for me to leave as I loved the church. We were blessed to find and attend a Continuing Anglican Church, 1928 prayerbook.
"Does this mean she is willing to let traditionalist parishes separate in an orderly way, with their buildings, etc?"
I doubt it.
I attended Episcopalian church often as a kid but today I wouldn't go to one.
As for your mom I think it's like Southern blue dog democrats. Even though the party is completely foreign to their way of thinking, they stay with the party cause their pappas, grand pappas etc. have always voted dem.
Me too. Curious, isn't it, that the reporter in this story didn't bother to ask.
The self-destruction of the Anglican Communion continues apace.
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.