THE GASP OF THE RELIGIOUS MASSES

For the Southern Baptists and the Episcopal Church of the USA, the first part of June has been turbulent. Both denominations elected new leadership at conventions held this month, and in each case, the results have been surprising.

I heard the first gasp last week as the Southern Baptists elected a conservative pastor to lead them (rather than an uber-conservative pastor) for the first time in over 25 years. I’ve been reading about the uproar this is causing for the uber-conservatives and the joy of those who believe a step toward the middle of the road is a good thing.

While handing over the reigns to a man who considers himself conservative has rocked the SBC, I wonder what the Southern Baptists think about the Episcopal Church electing a woman to govern them for the next nine years (after only ordaining women since 1976).

Today, I heard the large, long gasp (followed by stunned silence) all the way down here in Texas.

The Right Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori (pictured) is the current presiding Bishop of Nevada. She’s the first woman to even be nominated to be presiding bishop of the ECUSA. I don’t know much about her, but I do know she’s only been a priest for 12 years, a relatively short time to go from the bottom to the top. She is also considered one of the most liberal candidates put on the ballot (for voting to confirm openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003).

Considering the already tenuous relationship the ECUSA now has with the
Anglican Communion, this may be the last straw.

As typical Anglicans do, I’m going to mull over this a bit, pray about it, and get back to you… at some point in the future.

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