From the bulletin insert available in a PDF download from Episcopal News Service
Church to welcome 26th Presiding Bishop
Next weekend, the Episcopal Church begins a historic chapter in its life of mission and ministry as Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori becomes the church’s 26th Presiding Bishop. Prayer and celebration will mark two services in Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. During a festal Holy Eucharist on November 4, Bishop Jefferts Schori will be “invested” as Presiding Bishop for a nine-year term. This liturgy will be webcast. An All Saints Sunday service on November 5 will include her offi cial seating in the cathedral. She will preach at both liturgies.
In these sermons, Bishop Jefferts Schori will call on Christians to live the gospel – especially in terms of eradicating poverty, hunger and disease, both locally and globally, as advocated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. These goals “help us live our faith in practical ways by relieving suffering, caring for creation, and educating all children — girls as well as boys,” she has said.
Bishop Jefferts Schori’s Saturday homily will be based on Isaiah 25: 1-9, Psalm 98, Ephesians 4:1-8; 11-16, and Luke 4:14-21. Please consider joining her in prayer and contemplation of these texts during the coming week. In the gospel lesson, Jesus reads from Isaiah 61, one of the bishop’s favorite passages, which Jesus takes as his own mission “to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the
prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor ...”
Bishop Jefferts Schori, 52, an airplane pilot and former oceanographer, becomes the first woman in Anglicanism’s nearly 520-year history to lead a church province as its chief bishop. She was elected June 18 by her colleagues in the House of Bishops from among seven nominees. The House of Deputies confi rmed her election the same day. The election was one of the highlights of the 75th General Convention’s nine-day meeting in Columbus, Ohio — where the Church also affi rmed as its top priority peace and justice ministries framed by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Bishop Jefferts Schori is scheduled to appear on NBC’s Today Show November 3, one of the many interviews she has given since her election. Last week, she concluded her local ministry in Nevada, where she was elected bishop in 2000. She recently traveled with current Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold to Lambeth Palace in England to meet with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a member province.
The Presiding Bishop is the Church’s key leader in articulating its vision and mission, and assessing its work. The Presiding Bishop brings together what is increasingly a multicultural, multilingual and otherwise very diverse church. He or she advocates for social justice for all the people of the world. As our chief pastor, the Presiding Bishop is the church’s primary preacher and liturgical leader, and provides pastoral care to bishops, among others.
The Presiding Bishop is a leader in the Anglican Communion and in this role takes the title of Primate, from the Latin for leader. The Primate works with the Communion and other faith communities toward the reconciliation of all persons as together we live out the Gospel.