Monday, January 22, 2007
Grace Under Pressure
The Stanford Alumni Magazine did a cover-feature on our own Presiding Bishop (and their own alum) Katharine Jefferts Schori. Read it all here ... and WHAT a great opportunity to evangelize a whole whack of folks who -- according to my unscientific demographic survey -- are yearning for a spiritual home and disgusted with "the church." May they find in +Katharine's faithful witness an invitation to come and do likewise!
When Jefferts Schori responds to such criticism [responding to a quote from the ubiquitous David Anderson], one can hear both a pastor and a scientist. “There are some people for whom the changes in the church over the last several decades have been incredibly painful, and, yes, some of them are very angry and very vocal because they see the church as having changed out from underneath them,” she says. “In large part, they’re correct—we’ve got some challenging times ahead of us. But every age has got its challenge, and this is ours.”
‘I think there is some incredible sense of divine humor in calling somebody who is that much of an introvert to do the kind of work I’m doing.’
Then the researcher weighs in. “It’s taken wrestling for me, over the last 20 years, but I think I’m at a point where I understand sexual orientation to be fixed pretty early on. And in faith terms, I talk about it as part of creation—it’s the way people are created, which means the church’s role is to figure out how to help people live in holy relationships.”
At the 2003 triennial convention of the Episcopal Church, Jefferts Schori joined the majority of American bishops to support the election of an openly gay priest for bishop of New Hampshire. “I think I recognized how challenging the decision to consent to Gene Robinson’s election was going to be, but I look at it as one in a series of tackling the human tendency to define some people as ‘other,’” she continues. “Look at the early church’s history. It was, ‘Can we include Gentiles?’ And in our own country’s history, it’s been about the place of African-Americans, the place of immigrants and the place of women. Now we’re dealing with the place of gay and lesbian Christians in the church, and there will be another group. I don’t know who, but there will be another one.”