The Episcopal Church Welcomes You
» Site Map   » Questions    
‹‹ Return
Katharine Jefferts Schori: In her own words

Schori is interviewed for the CBS Evening News by its Sunday edition anchor Russ Mitchell outside the Chapel of the Good Shepherd at New York’s General Theological Seminary.   
“We need clergy who are teachers and equippers of the ministry of others. But we need to spread them around so that every community has access to their particular gifts, not just those who are large enough and wealthy enough to support one.

We especially need leaders who are willing to give ministry away, not those who need to be the center of ecclesiastical attention. We need icons who image a self-giving ministry, a ministry that is kenotic. That’s a good theological word that means self-emptying, as god did in becoming human. Kenotic ministry means a willingness to get out of the way, to provide opportunities for others to grow, rather than needing to do it all oneself. We need people who can demonstrate how to lay down their lives for others. That is a high and holy calling.”

-- Keynote address to the Diocese of Northwest Texas’ Diocesan Convention, Oct. 29, 2005.

“Our diversity in this communion is probably most strained by the lack of a common understanding of the authority of scripture. Our struggles to interpret the Bible begin with different assumptions, use different methods, and members often express disdain for assumptions and methods that differ from their own. Anglicanism has several important strands – evangelical, catholic, and latitudinarian, to use old terms. All are essential to a full expression of the Anglican ethos, and none can maintain a classically Anglican identity. The current debate often sets one strand against another, to ill effect. Finding a way through is going to need a balanced Anglicanism.

Our ability to clarify our own identifying marks in this church may help to resolve this impasse, even if we agree to disagree. To some degree we are hamstrung by our reluctance to be clear. At times we cringe before clarity out of fear of political incorrectness or being misunderstood as neo-colonial. We cannot engage in authentic dialogue and reconciliation until we are clear about who we are, what we believe and why…

We need to reclaim our incarnational theology, recognizing that our opponents are generally people of good faith seeking the will of God. We also have a duty as Christians to live the Great Commandment, to set aside excessive self-interest in favor of openness to the Spirit. None of us holds the fullness of the truth, and to claim that we do does violence to the image of God in our neighbors and ourselves.”

-- “So, where is the Episcopal Church headed now?” A presentation to the “Business of God” conference in Seattle, Nov. 22, 2005.

“Life is meant to be lived in company. Most of life seems to have more value when there is someone else to share the load and the delight, whether it is the glory of the mountain scenery or the tent and stove that must be carried, whether it’s the challenge of learning a new skill or doing the chores that never end, whether it’s finding help in the wilderness or celebration in the city.
Life is best lived in rhythm, of work and play, of intensity and relaxation. As that wonderful prayer in the Book of Common Prayer puts it, “in returning and rest we shall be saved.” The monastic communities have always known this.

“Life is abundant, in part because of the death that surrounds us. Awareness of the gifts that enfold us, and gratitude, lead us homeward as well.”

-- “How I spent my summer vacation,” in Nevada’s diocesan newspaper October 2004.

“Community ministry takes seriously the authority conferred in baptism… It assumes that each baptized person is a leader in some part of his or her life, working toward the transformation of a part of this world into something more like the Kingdom of God… It becomes challenging when we realize that mutual accountability is expected, that each of us owes the community some accounting for the gifts we have been given and how they are being used…

Community ministry is at its most vital when all the orders of ministry are functioning as they were baptized to do – each providing leadership in some sphere of life: baptized Christians who are reconciling the world on the playground, in the grocery store and in the state legislature; deacons who are nagging the rest of us to pay attention to the hungry people on our doorstep; priests who are gathering the faithful at God’s table to be fed for the daily round; and bishops who continue to call us back to the central marks of following Jesus. Community ministry recognizes that none of these people is the head of the church – we already have a head in Jesus, and our koinonia, our common fellowship, and our mission, come from God through Him.”

-- Keynote address to the Diocese of Northwest Texas’ Diocesan Convention, Oct. 29, 2005.