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News Tag: presiding bishop

Easter 2015 message from the Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop

March 27, 2015

It’s still dark when Mary ventures out to find the tomb. The graveyards around Jerusalem don’t have much greenery today. The earth is mostly rock and stone, and it is far from easy to make a place to secure a body. Jesus’ body was put in a cave-like space, with a stone rolled across the opening to close it up. Mary has made the journey from wherever she’s sheltered over the last day, through darkened streets, perhaps hearing cocks begin to crow and townspeople start to stir.

Presiding Bishop Katharine visits diocese, offers C.S. Lewis lecture in Fulton

January 15, 2014

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church will deliver the second annual C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecture at Westminster College in Fulton.

At 2 PM, she will preside and preach at Eucharist held in the historic Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury on the Westminster campus. The service is open to the public, and diocesan members are invited to attend. Seating is on a first come basis. St. Thomas Deaf Episcopal Church, Kirkwood, will provide interpreters.

Earlier that day Bishop Katharine delivers the C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecture on the topic of science and religion. The 11 AM lecture will also be held at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Seating is limited in the chapel, and during the lecture is reserved for college faculty and students. The lecture will also be streamed to overflow seating.

The Harrod-C.S. Lewis Professorship of Religious Studies, and the annual Legacy Lecture, are funded through a gift from Jim and Sharon Harrod, of Horseshoe Bay, Texas. The Rev. Dr. Clifford Cain is the first scholar to hold the professorship, and gave the inaugural lecture last year.

Bishop Jefferts Schori's career as an oceanographer preceded her studies for the priesthood, to which she was ordained in 1994. She holds a B.S. in biology from Stanford University, an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from Oregon State University, and an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific. She is "uniquely qualified to give this lecture," said Dr. Cain.

The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, is located at the corner of 7th and Westminster Ave in Fulton, 65251. A Christopher Wren designed building that dates back to the 17th century, the church was painstakingly moved from London, England to Fulton, Missouri, where it was reconstructed stone-by-stone on the Westminster College campus.
If you need more information, please contact the Rev. Dr. Marshall Crossnoe at or 573-291-9886, who is not only vicar of St. Alban's Church in Fulton and St. Mark's Church in Portland, but also Professor of History at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.

Westminster announcement on the 2014 lecture
Background on the inaugural lecture

Photo of the Presiding Bishop from, Bishop Katharine preaching at the closing of General Convention 2012.

Easter celebrates the victory of light and life over darkness and death

March 27, 2013

Presiding Bishop's Easter Message 2013

Rejoice, rejoice and sing, rejoice and be glad… for earth and heaven are joined and humanity is reconciled to God! [1]

As the Lenten season ends in Easter rejoicing, note what has been wrought in you this year. A remarkable cross-section of America has been practicing Lenten disciplines, even some who are not active Christians. [2]

There is a deep hunger in our collective psyche to re-orient our lives toward life and light, healing and peace. We share a holy hunger for clarity about what is good and life-giving, and we yearn to re-focus on what is most central and important in life.

Easter celebrates the victory of light and life over darkness and death. God re-creates and redeems all life from dead, dry, and destroyed bones. We are released from the bonds of self-obsession, addiction, and whatever would steal away the radical freedom of God-with-us. Our lives re-center in what is most holy and creative, the new thing God is continually doing in our midst. Practicing vulnerability toward the need and hunger of others around us, we have cultivated compassionate hearts. We join in baptismal rebirth in the midst of Jesus' own passing-over.

The wonder of the resurrection is upon us once more. May we embrace God's ever-new life with every cell of our being, every yearning of our soul, and every muscle of our will. Christ is risen, death is vanquished, humanity is restored to holy and creative relationship with God's ongoing and eternal liveliness. Praise God who brings light out of darkness, life out of death, and newness out of the stale and moribund.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church


Photo of snowdrops on Iona, by Fr. Bob Towner
[1] From the Exsultet, Book of Common Prayer pp 286-7

The next presiding bishop: your insights and prayers requested

March 20, 2013

[March 8, 2013] The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) is soliciting comments to specific questions prior to its next meeting. JNCPB will hold its second meeting in Greenfield, NH, March 18-20. The agenda includes developing a timeline and methodology for soliciting vision and feedback about what the church of the future will look like and what qualities the next Presiding Bishop should possess to help get there.

JNCPB invites reflections, especially before its March 18 meeting, on any or all of the following questions:

• Whether searching for a rector or a bishop, what was the best thing you did in your process?
• Whether searching for a rector or a bishop, what was your best communications tool?  To candidates or to constituents?
• What would you recommend we avoid?
• Anything else you want to share with the committee about your search process?

Also, the members of JNCPB request prayers for this next phase of their process.

To submit comments:
The members are listed here.
On Twitter at:  PB27Nominations or #JNCPB
On Facebook.
--Neva Rae Fox, Public Affairs Officer for the Episcopal Church.

Hold up your mirror to every face, let your face shine upon us all, and bring us peace.

February 13, 2013

In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori participated in the Fourth Annual Ash Wednesday Prayer Service at Liberty State Park, which focuses on immigration discrimination and detainees.

"We share a dream of peace," the Presiding Bishop said to the interreligious group of religious leaders, families of detainees, and immigrants. "O God, vindicate us, give us peace, save us from any who would destroy, diminish, or degrade any human being. We are all brothers and sisters in your sight, O Lord. Hold up your mirror to every face, let your face shine upon us all, and bring us peace." Full text.

A time of solidarity with the least of these

February 06, 2013


Presiding Bishop Katharine's message for this season of Lent (video and text): Lent is the ancient season of preparation.  Preparation for Baptism at the Easter Vigil and it’s a season of solidarity with those who are being formed to be disciples of Jesus and missionaries in God’s mission. 

We form people in a sense that God dreams of a healed world, a world restored to peace with justice, and some of the ancient images of that healed world are those of the prophets.  One of the famous ones from Isaiah is an image of people having a picnic on a mountainside, enjoying rich food and well-aged wine.  That image of being well-fed is particularly poignant in a world like ours where so many go hungry. 

Lent is a time when we pray, when we fast, when we study, when we give alms.  It’s a time of solidarity and it is particularly a time to be in solidarity with the least of these. continued...

Presiding Bishop hosts online conversation on human trafficking

February 06, 2013

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will host an hour-long exploration into the church's work in human trafficking on Wednesday, March 6. Human Trafficking: A Churchwide Conversation will originate from the Chapel of Christ the Lord in the Church Center in New York City beginning at 2 pm Eastern. "The focus of this forum is to uncover this ubiquitous issue in our midst and to share the ministries of the church devoted to human trafficking,"

The 2013 priority theme of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is the elimination and prevention of violence against women and girls. Bishop Katherine's address will focus on "What Is Human Trafficking and How Does It Link With Violence Against Women and Girls." and participating panelists include:

  • Alexander D. Baumgarten, Episcopal Church Director of Office of Government Relations and Sarah Dreier, Legislative Representative for International Policy and Advocacy, addressing advocacy aspects on the federal, state and local levels
  • the Rev. Brian McVey of the Diocese of Iowa on what ministries are operating around the Episcopal Church in response to human trafficking
  • the Rev. Terrie Robinson from the Anglican Communion on communion-wide actions and policies; Laura Russell, Esq. from the Diocese of Newark on the church's policies and implementation based on General Convention resolutions
  • Lynnaia Main, Episcopal Church Officer for Global Relations, on the UN's response to human trafficking and Episcopal Church involvement.

Participation is limited; advance registration is mandatory. To register contact The forum will be available on-demand following the event.

An encompassing list of resources on this topic is being compiled and will be available on the Episcopal Church website. "We are appealing to the entire church to forward any resources of actions and activities that may be occurring," Main stressed. "Links, files, photos, downloadable documents, and any other information about trafficking, Episcopal Church ministries, or other agencies involved in this work, along with basic materials on this topic for sharing are greatly appreciated." To submit resources, email

The love of God poured into our world

December 19, 2012

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness--on them light has shined. Isaiah 9:2

These words were spoken long ago to people living in anxiety, fear, and despair, people feeling bereft of security, safety, and any sense of God's presence. We hear them early on Christmas, forgetting that they were first spoken hundreds of years before the birth we celebrate. Human beings across this planet still yearn to know that a more gracious and divine reality is active and evident in our lives.

The birth we celebrate is meant for this world mired in darkness and fear, yet it also becomes easier to discover in a tiny voice crying in protest over being cold and wet and hungry. We hear that cry in the midst of war's ravages in Congo and Afghanistan, in the rubble of hurricane and earthquake, in the demeaning of chronic poverty, behind prison bars. That flickering of hope surges as the world turns to investigate this surprising new life, one heart at a time. The light grows as hearts catch fire with the same light that illumines the stars, pulsing hope and new life, even out of black holes.

Those who search in dark and despair, in dank dungeon and deep devastation, will find divine light given for the world. Light that will not be put out, so long as any creature remains to receive it, until and beyond the end of time. The darkness will never put it out.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:5

Go and look--and discover the love of God poured into our world in human form. Hope reigns abroad, in the cosmos and in human hearts. And rejoice, for a child of the light is born in our midst!

Christmas 2012
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

Presiding Bishop Katharine's Advent message

November 28, 2012

As you prepare for the season of Advent, I would commend two questions to your musings and your prayer and your meditation: What is it that you are most waiting for? And, how are you going to wait this year?

Full text

Bishop Frank Griswold preaches at Order of St. John Evensong at the cathedral

June 20, 2012

Order of St. John: Festival Evensong and Service of Rededication
The Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
Thursday, June 28, 2012, 6 PM
Christ Church Cathedral

You are cordially invited to this 20th Annual Festival Evensong, which features a newly commissioned choral work by Bruce Neswick. Frank Griswold, the 25th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, returns to the cathedral to preach at the Evensong.

A benefit reception will be held after the Evensong in the St. Louis home of Dwight Davis, founder of the Davis Cup for tennis, and more information on that event is available from Sheryl Meyering at 314-440-6782 or the Order of St. John national office in Washington, DC at 202-510-9691.

Choral composition commissioned for occasion. Bruce Neswick, Professor of Music at Indiana University, composed the anthem "Yes! It was Well" for the Evensong. He will conduct the Cathedral Choir in singing the anthem, and will also play the closing organ voluntary. The anthem text is from "The Knight of St. John" by Frederick Faber (1814-63), best known for the hymn texts "Faith of Our Fathers" and "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy."

Neswick has a distinguished career as a church organist, most recently at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and earlier at St. Philip's Cathedral, Atlanta, and the Washington National Cathedral. He is also a prolific composer and recording artist. A number of his performances are on YouTube.

Cathedral organist and choirmaster Pat Partridge will also play and conduct the choir in the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in F Major by Harold Friedell (1905-1958).

History and works of the Order. The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem traces its origins back to the knights who served the Hospice in Jerusalem that cared for pilgrims in the twelfth century. Over the centuries, the order became an international institution, contributing to the care of the sick and to the defense of Christendom.

An American Society of the Order of St. John was founded in 1958. This Society became the Priory of the United States in 1996 and enjoys an equal status with the branches of the Order in the British Commonwealth. The St. Louis Region of the Order is led by a council chaired by John Kilgore, Canon Minor of the Cathedral.

The American branch of the Order has devoted most of its efforts to supporting the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem, but also aides the sick and poor by assisting St. John Ambulance. During the 2005 tsunami, for example, the American Priory provided both funding and five fully-equipped ambulances to St. John in Sri Lanka.

Membership in the order is a decorated honor bestowed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. A prerequisite to membership is a demonstrated commitment to local and/or national charitable work. Although a Christian Order of Chivalry, membership is open to persons of all faiths who can promise to support the order’s work in aid of the poor and the sick, in addition to continuing ongoing charitable responsibilities.

Photo: Bishop Griswold at June 2009 Order of St. John Evensong at the cathedral [flickr set]; History notes from the Evensong service leaflet; More info on the Order in the US, the Order in England and the world, and the Order's Museum.


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