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Biographical Information

9/14/2006
[Episcopal News Service]  ...to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor..[Isaiah 61]

"Shalom" – peacemaking defined by the Prophet Isaiah and reiterated by Jesus in Luke's gospel – is a ministry priority for Katharine Jefferts Schori, who takes office November 1, 2006, as 26th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church.

Bishop Jefferts Schori was elected to this office on June 18, 2006 by vote of the 75th General Convention, meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Another of the Convention's principal legislative actions was to set as the Episcopal Church's top mission priority the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals – seven objectives for the eradication of poverty, hunger and disease, for the affirmation of gender equality and universal primary education for girls as well as boys, and for environmental sustainability. In her full endorsement of these goals, Bishop Jefferts Schori calls upon Episcopalians and the wider global community to work together for their implementation.  

Bishop Jefferts Schori's career as an oceanographer preceded her studies for the priesthood, to which she was ordained in 1994. She remains an active, instrument-rated pilot – a skill she applied when traveling between the congregations of the statewide-plus Diocese of Nevada, where she was elected bishop in 2000 and ordained to the episcopate February 24, 2001. At the time of her election as bishop of Nevada, she was assistant rector of the Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis, Oregon.

Bishop Jefferts Schori, 52, holds a B.S. degree in biology from Stanford University (1974), an M.S. in oceanography from Oregon State University (1977), a Ph.D. from Oregon State University (1983), an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific (1994), and an honorary D.D. (2001) also from CDSP.

Bishop Jefferts Schori was born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida. She grew up in the Seattle area and later moved with her family to New Jersey. Bishop Jefferts Schori and her husband, Richard Miles Schori, a retired theoretical mathematician (topologist), were married in 1979. They have one daughter, Katharine Johanna, 25, who is a first lieutenant and pilot in the U. S. Air Force.

The Episcopal Church includes 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses (plus the similar Convocation of American Churches in Europe). A member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church prizes its spiritual tradition of the "via media," offering a uniting, reconciling middle way between polarities.  

Bishop Jefferts Schori brings to her ministry emphases on baptismal ministry and adult education. As Presiding Bishop, she will serve as chief pastor to the Episcopal Church's 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses (plus the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. As Primate, Bishop Jefferts Schori will join in consultation with other principal bishops of the 38 member Provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, seeking to make common cause for global good and reconciliation.