ex-Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori

Episcopal Church elects first woman Presiding Bishop to be leader, chief pastor, and preacher June 18, 2006.



The Episcopal Church, 30 years after it allowed women to become priests and bishops, has elected a woman as its Presiding Bishop.


Katherine Jefferts Schori, 52, bishop of Nevada, was elected on the fifth ballot June 18 by her colleagues in the House of Bishops from a slate of seven nominees.  The House of Deputies confirmed the election the same day, as is required by church law.  The election took place during the church’s 75th General Convention, meeting in Columbus, Ohio.


The 26th Presiding Bishop-elect will be the first woman to hold the top post in the church’s 400-year history.  Her nine-year term officially begins November 1;  she will be invested and seated November 4 during a liturgy at Washington National Cathedral.  She will succeed Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.


An airplane pilot and former oceanographer, Jefferts Schori addressed deputies and visitors who gathered in the Columbus Convention Center in both Spanish and English.  She thanked the other nominees and emphasized her passion for mission.  She also offered a vision of reconciliation and actualization of the reign of God.


The Presiding Bishop-elect’s vision to lead the church comes out of the prophet Isaiah’s  vision of the reign of God and includes such United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as eradicating poverty and hunger.