Saturday, November 04, 2006

She is Risen!

Even as I type this, the investiture of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the first female Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is taking place at the National Cathedral in Washington.

For information about how to access a live webcast, see this article from the Episcopal News Service. One of the churches in our area has set up huge screens in their sanctuary so people can gather and watch the ceremony. I'm not there because I have other things to do -- like writing my homily for tomorrow! -- but this is indeed a historic day.

I think Bishop Katharine will do a good job. Among other things, she's the best preacher I've ever heard. I could happily listen to her preach every Sunday of the year, and I can't think of anyone I'd rather have as the spokesperson for the national church. She has an inclusive, compassionate vision of God's call to social justice and reconciliation, and she articulates that vision clearly and forcefully.

She's also, of course, now one of the focal points -- along with Gene Robinson -- of a great deal of turmoil in the global Anglican Communion. A few months ago, I spoke to her at a friend's ordination here in Reno. I said, "I'm incredibly proud of the church for electing you, and I wouldn't have your job for the world."

She laughed. "Well, Susan, I wouldn't want to be a professor again, either."

I wish her all the best. She has guts, and given what's going on right now, she's going to need them.

Later: Here's the text of her investiture sermon.


  1. Laurel10:34 AM

    I was just reading the Associated Press profile of her entitled "A risk-taker" in my local paper; it's a wonderful article, and should she ever come to preach locally, I will certainly hope to be able to hear her. I loved the part where she described Jesus as a woman giving birth to a new creation.

  2. Ah, yes, the famous "mother Jesus" image! She used that when she preached at General Convention after her election, and it had reactionaries from coast to coast (and abroad, no doubt) hyperventilating, predicting the death of the Episcopal Church, and decrying these new-fangled feminists.

    Actually, of course, she borrowed the image from Julian of Norwich, who came up with it in the 14th century. I'm sure Dame Julian made some people hyperventilate in her own day, too.

    Which just goes to show you that actually, there's a long tradition of uppity women in the church!

  3. God calls, we can only hear. If God has called, who are we to doubt that call?

    I have a habit of referring to God as 'she', which usually gets a rise (especially from Cathie) even though God is both male and female and much more. We need to reconcile our ways to those of God, rather than the other way round as is so often the case.

    My radio repeater has just started to play Judy Collins singing 'Amazing Grace'. So many find this multiply offensive to their tenets. They really should shut up and listen, really listen - oh still, small voice of calm.


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