Monday, June 19, 2006

Oh Happy Day!

OK let's review.

30 years ago the Episcopal Church ordained its first woman priest. Some local dioceses still refuse to ordain women.

3 years ago the ECUSA approved the appointment of their first out and practicising gay man who is in a long term committed relationship to the position of bishop of a diocese (New Hampshire in this case.)

After the above, lots of controversy and animosity broke out here and abroad (see my June 12th post last week for a summary.)

The Presiding Bishop's term was up this year. The PB is the head of the national church body. The "bishop's bishop". It is the highest rank in the ecclesiatical hierarchy in the ECUSA.

So here we have a church in turmoil over conservative/liberal issues re gay people. Everyone, literally everyone viewed this convention as almost in a hopeless position -- with radical accomodations having to be made to the conservatives to preserve union, or at least a slow down of any further changes to forestall the eventual schism. I do not know anyone who expected what followed.

The ECUSA elected their new Presiding Bishop.

A woman.

They elected a woman to head up their church.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, has been elected June 18 by the House of Bishops as the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church,and the first woman to hold this position in the 400 year tradition of the entire global Anglican Communion.

This is so huge. I never thought that I would live to see this day. Oh,and she is amazing -- an intellectual (oceanographer married to a man who is a mathematician) and a reconciling presence, and oh -- did I mention -- A WOMAN!

PLEASE. Read Telling Secrets for this account by a woman priest who is at the convention for a glimpse of how stunning this is -- even within the denomination -- and how joyful.

I cry whenever I read it.

You know what this feels like to me and to many women? It is like that moment when you fall in love and suddenly realize how lonely you had been before. It is an amazing moment.


Blogger Maggie Rose said...


thank you so much Mata for linking to Telling Secrets' blog report

what an excellent first-hand experience report




5:48 AM  

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