For a woman sitting on a very warm seat, Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, seems remarkably cool.Even those who disagree with her progressive leadership agree the 53-year-old remains unflappable under duress.
“She’s centered and intense,” said the Rev. Kendall Harmon, a well-regarded conservative theologian from South Carolina. “You get a sense when she answers a question that she’s trying to channel all her passion in one place.”
Since Jefferts Schori’s installation slightly more than a year ago, she’s had plenty of opportunities to test her poise. The presiding bishop, who serves a nine-year term, is chief pastor and executive of the 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church.
“It’s been a year of a steep learning curve,” she said in an interview Wednesday. “But it’s been a delightful privilege to travel around and see the ways the church is fully engaged in its mission.”
Part of that mission, Jefferts Schori said, is demonstrating how a diverse community can “value the person and positions of others who disagree with us.”
This is one of the things that energizes us at St Nicks; that even though we’re small, we’re becoming fully engaged in our mission, which we see as service to children and families in need, welcoming and incorporating the marginalized and the person stuck “in the doorway,” and support for the elderly and shut-ins.
We are looking forward to meeting Bishop ++Katharine with open arms, and we’re planning on providing a comfortable seat (not too hot or cold) too!