The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, spoke at the convention of the Diocese of Vermont and 90 minutes into her talk, gave a figure that startled Daniel Barlow of the Rutland Herald.
“Two thousand children across the world have died since I began speaking here today,” Jefferts Schori said.
The 53-year-old presiding bishop, the first woman elected by the Episcopal Church to that position, met with supporters and fans at the Ira Allen Chapel at the University of Vermont in Burlington and put the plight of the poor and hungry around the world front and center.
For nearly two hours, Jefferts Schori spoke of the need for both the United States and its community of churches to make a concerted effort to reduce poverty and hunger and boost educational and health efforts across the globe.
She urged members of the church to invest in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, a lofty measure adopted by nearly 200 nations that aims to reduce world poverty by half by 2015.
The blog Blazing Indiscretions described “a weekend of celebration.”
It’s a weekend of celebration in Vermont. This morning nearly 350 people gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral in Burlington as the Most Rev’d Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, preached and presided at the Eucharist on the Feast of Richard Hooker and the 175th convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont (and the 216th of the Episcopal Church in Vermont!).
The Presiding Bishop urged the church to focus less on what divides and more on the mission that unites us.
“Obviously a handful of our church leaders are still upset and would like to see the church never ordain and never baptize a gay or lesbian person,” she said. “We need to refocus on more life-and-death issues like starvation, education, medical care.”