Today I want to share my thoughts on the historical actions taken by our church this Sunday. After celebrating Eucharist together in the Convention Center, the bishops were bussed to Trinity Church for the election of the 26th Presiding Bishop. As Secretary, it was my job to dispense and certify the ballots. Also, as a member of the nominating committee, I had a vested interest in many of the nominees. As we gathered in the beautifully redecorated Trinity Church, we were surrounded on three sides by a time line recounting the thirty years since women were first ordained. Rector Dick Burnett presented every bishop with a history book of Trinity titled "Be it Remembered." Most bishops put that aside and we got about the process of voting for our next Presiding Bishop. The first three ballots were all across the board, reflecting the high quality of all three nominees. We then broke for lunch. Afterwards, two more ballots were taken and on the fifth Katharine Jefferts Schori attained the needed majority.
Katharine is a suburb choice. She is a brilliant individual who is articulate, faithful with an obvious spiritual dimension. She will make a excellent Presiding Bishop. A few bishops were unhappy with her choice, but the atmosphere among the bishops after her election was overwhelimingly positive. It may be a hard road ahead for our new Presiding Bishop in some corners of our Anglican Commuion, but I believe she is up for that and will represent our church admirably. ENS reports initial reactions and guardedly positive.
All of our women bishops were present, and given the historic nature of this action, the book given us about Trinity Church titled "Be it Remembered" suddenly took on new dimensions. For all the things Trinity is remembered for, here was one more milestone in the rich history of the Episcopal Church. Many of us had all the women present sign that book as a memento of that occasion. In closing, I wish to congratulate our new Presiding Bishop. I believe we elected her not because just she is a woman, but because she is highly qualified woman. Yes, it is true that her election communicates the inclusive nature of the Episcopal Church, but the main reason we elected her is that we bishops truly believe that this bishop will lead us well and represent us on the world scene well. I am proud to have been the certifier of her election, and am looking forward to serving with her as I have with Bishop Griswold. But most of all, today, I am very proud to be an Episcopalian. I believe our church has made a wise and significant choice. Please keep our Presiding Bishop-elect in your prayers.
Bishop Ken Price