Tuesday, June 20, 2006

ECUSA has a new bishop

The Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) elected their first ever female Presiding Bishop. The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 52, bishop of Nevada, was elected from a slate of seven nominees, on the fifth ballot June 18. And already, some within the church have decided they don’t want her as their bishop so they’re looking for “alternative episcopal oversight.”

The bishop of the Forth-Worth Diocese in Texas compared her election to the election of a gay bishop in 2003, and the push for same-sex blessings within that denomination. So, according to him, being gay and being female is the same sinful thing.

While I’m loathe to stick my ecclesiastical nose where it doesn’t belong, I blog about this because I wonder if there are folks within my own denomination who would sympathize with this Texan bishop. At a recent clergy meeting, one of my colleagues said, referring to our own episcopal elections, that he couldn’t serve under a woman bishop, and bemoaned the “feminization” of the church.

My wife is an ordained pastor, and there are days when she’s hanging on to the church by her finger nails. She grew up in a church where women couldn’t even vote in church elections. Where women’s only role was to bake goodies, clean altar linen, and crank out good Lutheran boys. She is one of the strongest preachers and gifted leaders I know.

The presence of women within church leadership is going to change the flavour and culture of our churches. That may push us to be more creative in how we proclaim the gospel, which I think is a good thing.

We have many, many strong woman leaders in our churches. We would be poorer for having lost them.

Furthermore, the apostle Paul would like to weigh in:

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
(Galatians 3:28)

UPDATED: for grammar and sentence structure.

No comments: