2 Days with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Bishops Katharine Jefferts Schori, Mary Gray-Reeves, Rev. Amy Denny Zuniga and daughter

The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real and our Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves were recently honored to host a visit by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. About 70 of us went with the Bishops on a pilgrimage walk in the Jolon area.  The next day was the annual diocesan Spring Conference, held at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga, California. Bishop Katharine lead 150 of us in a series of discussions and meditations, starting with five minutes of silence to consider what it means to be beloved by God. A video of a version of her morning talk is available as part of the General Convention 2015 orientation.

Bishop Katharine is nearing the end of her 9-year term as Episcopal Presiding Bishop or “PB”. I am looking forward to attending General Convention next month in Salt Lake City where her successor will be elected. I have never attended “GC” before and am excited to be going! There will be several key discussions at GC, including recommendations for large-scale reorganization or “re-imagining” of the Episcopal Church, in addition to electing the new PB.  (As a side note – although they are each capable and remarkable, I was disappointed that three of the four candidates announced this month to be considered for Bishop Katharine’s successor are from East Coast USA states – the closest to California is from Ohio, three are white, and all are men.  I was hoping for more variety.)

At the end of the Spring Conference, I was one of the speakers to rise when Bishop Mary asked us if there was anything we wanted to say to Bishop Katherine. I told her that ten years ago, when I first heard that the new PB was not only female but also from the Western state of Nevada, what she was inspired me. To have a western woman lead our church was important to me, to many of my sister leaders in the church, and to our daughters who will follow. Watching Bishop Katharine ordain Bishop Mary in 2007 was a lifetime-memory. Since then, I have heard Bishop Katharine speak at Stanford University, have read her writings, listened to her words, and watched her work. Over these years, who she is as a wise leader has become more important. We will miss Bishop Katharine.

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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