From EpiscopalLife Online:
Kentucky: Presiding Bishop brings message of reconciliation on three-day diocesan visit
. . . From May 16-18, accompanied by Kentucky Bishop Ted Gulick, [Presiding Bishop Katharine] Jefferts Schori traveled by car and then plane from Louisville to Paducah at the far western edge of the diocese and back, with a stop in between for a "Tent Meeting Episcopal Style" at the diocese's camp and conference center. . .
The "Conversations" were held on the first and second evenings of her visit. Moderated by local news media personalities, the Presiding Bishop was asked a series of questions -- ranging from the tensions within the church to her prayer life and vegetarianism -- that had been submitted in advance by email as well as presented during the forum.
When asked the first evening to comment on the amount of in fighting within the Episcopal Church, Jefferts Schori replied that fighting only takes place in an institution "centered in power."
"There is no need to fight if we continue to ask 'how can we serve the poor?'" she said, adding that churches focused on "serving the least among us" thrive. . .
Questioned about whether lawsuits are the way to resolve disputes, she explained, "The role of the Episcopal Church as a denomination is to support dioceses in their mission…We will support the actions of local dioceses when they are faced with a situation like this." While some people believe the church should not go to court, she said, "there is often not a choice in the matter" and noted that the denomination has a "fiduciary and moral responsibility to see that the legacy of this church is used for the purpose for which it was given." She noted hopefully, however, that "we're finding that the bulk of this work is behind us.". . .
Responding to questions at the second forum about the future of the Episcopal Church, Jefferts Schori said the church "is going to look less and less like most of the people in this room. The growing parts of this society are immigrants, people of color, even in Kentucky. People are coming from Mexico and other places [such as] south Asia. Three of the four people we baptized this morning were Chinese... We have to wake up to that. We have to recognize that the Episcopal Church is not going to just be Anglo. We have not done a good job of evangelism by reproduction, and there are important reasons for that... We're going to have to do our evangelism in other ways and again that means thinking outside the door.". . .
Gulick asked the presiding bishop at her first public meeting to "lend us your eyes" and help us see what you see. During the weekend, she complied and taught, among other things, the Zulu word, "ubuntu," which she translated, "I am because we are." Ubuntu expresses the concept of interdependence, which she said is "fundamental to our understanding of the body of Christ. When one part of the body suffers, we all do; when one of us rejoices, we all do."
She encouraged the diocese to "know something about ubuntu -- your work in Jubilee ministries, your focus on the Millennium Development Goals…You're beginning to know yourselves as Koreans, Sudanese, Karen, Chinese as well as Anglo…If we as individuals and as a community want to participate in God, then we too will be restless until all are at rest and comfort and healing of that holy community of God."
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