Katharine Jefferts Schori

Here is how the Episcopal Church will elect a new Presiding Bishop next year as current leader, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has decided to step down.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected to head the Episcopal Church, has voiced the decision to not pursue another term. The nine year long term is coming to an end in June 2015 at the Episcopalians’ General Convention. Considering her sixtieth birthday was earlier this year, she could run again before reaching the age limit of seventy-two. However, Jefferts Schori’s statement concludes by clarifying that her time would be better served helping others lead.

The election of Katharine Jefferts Schori started a new generation of more liberal ideology within Episcopal Churches. This involved welcoming different communities, such as homosexuals and alternative genders, but church participation still dropped roughly twelve percent during her nine year term. Although she received numerous votes from conservative bishops, they were mainly from those planning to exit; therefore, the reasoning behind the support involved having contrasting leaders between the Episcopal church and Anglican Church in North America.

The Election Process of the Episcopal Church

The process of determining the next leader has already begun with the election committee taking the names of nominees given by members of the Episcopal Church. Any member may submit a suggestion to to the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB). This nomination and selection process is named the Call for Discernment and Profile. After the general nominations conclude on September 30, the JNCPB will notify those who have been nominated, and any nominees who wish to continue will have to submit their materials before October 31 to participate in election. The full election will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah during the General Convention next summer.

This process will be completed without Katharine Jefferts Schori on the ballot. The current head of the Episcopal Church has decided her time would be better spent helping other leaders become more diverse with more effort dedicated to spreading the word of God and building the picture that He has provided. Therefore, new leadership will take the reins early next year with the help of the community.

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