Thursday, April 10, 2008

Question authority, says Bishop Jefferts Schori

From [boldface mine]:

The chief symbol of authority in the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, delivered an unusual message to a Seattle gathering of young churchgoers: Question authority.

In a setting that symbolizes entrenched local power -- the Washington Athletic Club -- Bishop Schori urged youthful listeners to "prod" the church, think about the Gospel "in new ways," and challenger their elders on the environment.

"I expect you to hold older generations' feet to the fire for the condition of Creation," Schori argued.

At another point, she told listeners:

"You are living reminders to the rest of us that God is constantly doing a new thing . . . Some people believe the church never changes. The only thing that never changes is a dead body, and that begins to rot."

Elected in 2006 by the Episcopal General Convention, Schori is the woman to hold the post of Presiding Bishop. She is a former oceanographer, with a PhD from Oregon State, and spent part of her girlhood in Lake City.

She is also a resolutely progressive voice in the church, to the dismay of some traditionalists. Schori supported the election of a non-celibate gay, the Rt. Rev. V Gene Robinson, as Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire.

Schori has taken a hard line toward dioceses and congregations seeking to sever ties with the Episcopal Church - insisting that property belongs to the parent church - and has shaken up the church's administration
. She is moving parts of the Presiding Bishop's staff to four different cities, including Seattle. . .

Schori made clear her displeasure with the decision [of the Archbishop of Canterbury] not to invite the gay bishop.

"It's the archbishop's party and he issues the invitations," she said. "He (Robinson) is going to be there outside the meeting."

In answer to a question about cramped church facilities, Schori replied by saying: "Sometimes I think the (church) buildings are albatrosses." The Presiding Bishop praised what she called "the freedom that comes with simply gathering and being together."

She also urged young people to "think about the Gospel in new ways. It is the obligation of every generation to view God with new eyes."

A question-and-answer session saw the kind of blunt dialogue rarely heard on the visit of a religious dignitary.

Katrina Hamilton, a University of Washington student, talked about how many of her friends are removed from and ignorant of religion, and noted "an increase in the stereotyping of Christians."

"It is much more acceptable in my circle to be gay than to be Christian," said Hamilton.

"We don't live in Christendom anymore," replied Schori, "and that is both a challenge and opportunity." She urged people to ask the question: "How does the way we live proclaim our faith?". . .

Read it all.


Matthew said...

That's all very well and so long as you don't question her authority or take any albatrosses out of the Episcopal Church's aviary.

Hening said...

I guess blaming Satan for the mess creation is in could cause her a demotion with her boss, so she blames it on the older generation.

Good employee or poor exegesis, you decide.