The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports on the Katharine Jefferts Schori's visit to Calvary Church, Shadyside in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The head of the country's Episcopal Church visited Pittsburgh on Sunday, a show of support to the 20 local churches that are remaining faithful to the New York-based leadership, even as twice as many others align with a more conservative governing body based in Argentina.
About 700 parishioners and other Episcopalians jammed the pews of Shadyside's Calvary Episcopal Church to welcome Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. A typical 11 a.m. service draws about 250 people, said Calvary Rector John Lewis.
"It's a great joy for us to welcome Bishop Katharine," Lewis said "We knew we had the support of the Episcopal (Church), but to have her here in the flesh is to have an outward and visible sign of that support."
After the liturgy,
Jefferts Schori fielded questions from about 350 people who stayed after the service to discuss their church's future. While some have come to terms with the growing role of gay men and lesbians in the diocese, a few said their fellow parishioners wonder whether the presiding bishop sees Jesus Christ as the sole way to salvation.
Jefferts Schori replied that like most Christians, she believes Jesus died for "the whole world." But his life and resurrection did not sever the promise God made to Jews and to Muslims, she added, and those groups still have access to salvation.
"I see evidence of holiness in people who are not Christians. I have to assume in some way God is present and important in those people who may not consciously know Jesus. And it's really God's problem to figure out how to deal with that," she said, to surprised laughter and applause. "My problem is to be the best Christian I can be and to share what I know of the power of Jesus in my own life."
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