The recent visit to Nashotah House by the Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, was marked by a number of events. She joined the community for the Feast of Sts. Philip and James, observing how the community engages in worship. She attended Mass with a sermon delivered by Senior Tanya Scheff.
The Presiding Bishop shared several meals with students in the refectory, and was one of the first “customers” for the new coffee bar in Shelton Hall (she pronounced the brew, “Excellent!”). The Presiding Bishop also attended Moral Theology 601, taught by the Reverend Daniel Westberg, DPhil, and was then given a walking tour of the campus by the Academic Dean, the Reverend Steven Peay, PhD. She was accompanied by the Canon for Domestic Poverty Mission, the Reverend Mark Stevenson (’00), his wife Joy, and Neva Rae Fox, the Public Affairs Officer of the Episcopal Church.
An academic colloquy engaging the Presiding Bishop with Faculty and students was planned for the afternoon. Bishop Jefferts Schori requested a time of question and answer, so questions were solicited from students and Faculty. The Academic Dean served as the moderator of the colloquy. Fr. Peay began with a brief overview of the approach to theological education at Nashotah House found here.
This was done at the Dean-President’s request; so that the Presiding Bishop could better understand the nature of the House. The atmosphere of the colloquy was truly ‘academic,’ open, polite, respectful, but not without substance. At one point there were questions and exchanges between the Presiding Bishop, a Faculty member affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America and a student from the Diocese of South Carolina. The interactions were honest and generous. It was an opportunity for sharing positions that really could have occurred nowhere else but the House.
The Presiding Bishop attended Evensong joining the Dean-President, Faculty, student body, and several guests from the community in Adams Hall. Following the conclusion of Evensong, the Presiding Bishop delivered an encomium homily in honor of Deacon Terry Star, a middler student from North Dakota, who had been behind the invitation to visit, and who died unexpectedly in March. The evening concluded with a reception and dinner – and a trip to a local frozen custard stand.