Katharine Jefferts Schori, bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, has been elected June 18 by the House of Bishops as the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The House of Deputies has confirmed the election, as is required by church canons. Bishop Schori said: “I am awed and honoured and deeply privileged to have been elected.” Bidding farewell to Nevada, she thanked its people, “who called a stranger to join them in the desert”. The Church has its headquarters in New York.
During her time as bishop, the number of parishes in her diocese has increased, as have the number of worshippers and donations to the church. A licensed pilot, she used a private plane to visit far-flung congregations in Nevada. Before her ordination in 1994 she taught at Oregon State University’s Department of Religious Studies, and was a senior oceanographer. Bishop Schori, who was born in Florida, is married to a retired theoretical mathematician. They have one daughter. She was elected after five ballots at the convention in Columbus, Ohio, yesterday afternoon but consistently polled the highest number of votes throughout the balloting. She was the first woman ever to be selected as a nominee.