June 19, 2006, New York, NY – Following the election yesterday of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of Nevada as the new presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Donald V. Romanik, President of the Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) noted that "we congratulate Bishop Jefferts Schori and are in full support of the process that takes place during General Convention that allows for the election of the national leadership of the Episcopal Church."
ECF is an independent, lay-led organization whose policy is to take a position of neutrality on many of the issues facing the Church, so as to enable parties with differing points of view to engage in dialogue and move forward together in the mission and ministry of the Gospel. By offering a full spectrum of fundraising services to Episcopal congregations, dioceses and other organizations, as well as reaching out through parish focused studies and publications, teaching and networking partnerships, ECF empowers lay and ordained Episcopal leaders with the resources they need to grow their ministries.
Founded by former presiding bishop Henry Knox Sherrill, the current presiding bishop traditionally serves as honorary chair of the board of ECF. ECF board chairperson H.M. McFarling, III, MD said that "ECF looks forward to welcoming the new presiding bishop and working with her in whatever way we may be called upon to strengthen Episcopal congregations here at home and provide opportunities to connect them with the wider Anglican Communion."
"I want to make it clear," stated Romanik, "that recent comments by the Rev. William L. Sachs, former Vice President of Learning & Leadership at the Foundation, clearly do not reflect our views." Sachs, who has resigned his post and will be leaving the Foundation at the end of this month, was quoted as questioning Bishop Jefferts Schori's ability to lead the Church. "Our goal," Romanik concluded, "is to do whatever we can to work with all levels of church leadership, from the parish to the national and international levels, to collaborate and partner with them to provide resources and tools needed to do the work of the Church in the world. In times of transition or uncertainty, it's more important than ever that the Church focus on mission and ministry."