Thursday, June 21, 2007

Episcopal leader joins roster of Dodge City's honorary marshals

By Eric Swanson
Dodge City Daily Globe

The first woman to head the United States Episcopal Church can now add another title to her resume: honorary marshal of Dodge City.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori received the honor Tuesday afternoon in front of a small group of observers at Boot Hill Cemetery.

"I'm deeply honored and privileged, and I have to tell you, this is the first in my ordained career," she said as the group laughed and applauded.'


When Jefferts Schori became the national leader of the Episcopal Church last year, she inherited a denomination that was rocked by controversy over support for gays, according to the Associated Press. Conservative congregations upset by the denomination's support for gays threatened to leave if the church did not change its position.

In a short interview after the ceremony, Jefferts Schori said the denomination is still wrestling with that issue, but she believes many congregations are moving toward full sacramental inclusion of their gay and lesbian members.

"The long history of the church has been about inclusion," she said. "The very earliest church had arguments and controversy about whether or not gentiles could be Christians and followers of Jesus. That was answered positively."

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