Thursday, September 25, 2014
What does this mean?
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
I have spent many months in discernment about how I am being called to serve God’s people and God’s creation in this season. I have resisted the assumption by some that presiding bishops can only be elected to serve one term, knowing the depth of relational work and learning that is involved in this ministry. There is a tradeoff between the learning curve and the ability to lead more effectively as a result of developed relationships both within and beyond this Church. At the same time, I recognize that standing for election as Presiding Bishop carries the implicit expectation that one is ready to serve a full term. I do not at present believe I should serve and lead in this ministry for another nine years.
What this means, I do not know. But I would expect that there are folks on all sides of the issues facing the Episcopal Church who are relieved that Schori will not be a candidate to lead this denomination for another nine years. Her nine years have been a lifetime of dispute, conflict, membership loss, financial loss, and unpleasant publicity. While there is no expectation that the next PB will be orthodox, the successor to Schori could not possibly be more of a lightening rod of contention than she has been. I probably should not have said that because there are even worse folks to lead this once noble communion than her -- I just cannot imagine who that might be?!