“Who’s hungry? Why? What will we do about it, and where and how will we set the feast? May the world be blessed in you, for many years to come.” — Katharine Jefferts Schoori
- In the liturgical calendar, Lent is the 40-day season leading up to Easter.
- Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, this year February 22.
- Easter is celebrated on Sunday, April 8.
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop’s Message for Lent
The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, previously Bishop of Nevada, is the twenty-sixth Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. She is chief pastor to the Episcopal Church’s 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses, ecumenical officer, and primate, joining leaders of the other 38 Anglican Provinces in consultation for global good and reconciliation.
Jefferts Schori was elected at the 75th General Convention on June 18, 2006 and invested at Washington National Cathedral on November 4, 2006.
Over the course of her 9-year term, Bishop Jefferts Schori is responsible for initiating and developing policy for the Episcopal Church and speaks on behalf of the church regarding the policies, strategies, and programs authorized by General Convention.
She has been vocal about the Episcopal Church’s mission priorities, including the United Nation Millennium Development Goals, issues of domestic poverty, climate change and care for the earth, as well as the ongoing need to contextualize the gospel.
The Presiding Bishop is charged to speak God’s word to the church and to the world.
“Are you traveling light on the earth?”
Last year, the Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offered an invitation to deepen our Christian practices in her Lent 2011 message.
Noting that the season of Lent has traditionally been in “solidarity with those to be baptized,” and challenging us to “be attentive to how you live on this earth” with respect to our uses of resources, such as water and fuel, the Presiding Bishop asks if we are like Jesus Christ: “Are you traveling light on the earth?”
Lent Message 2012
I greet you at the beginning of Lent.
In this year I’m going to invite you to think about the ancient traditions of preparing in solidarity with candidates for baptism, to think about the old disciplines of prayer and fasting and alms-giving and study, through the focus on those beyond our communities, in the developing world, who live in abject poverty.
I invite you to use the Millennium Development Goals as your focus for Lenten study and discipline and prayer and fasting this year. I’m going to remind you that the Millennium Development Goals are about healing the worst of the world’s hunger. They’re about seeing that all children get access to primary education. They’re about empowering women. They’re about attending to issues of maternal health and child mortality. They’re about attending to issues of communicable disease like AIDS and malaria and tuberculosis. They’re about environmentally sustainable development, seeing that people have access to clean water and sanitation and that the conditions in slums are alleviated. And finally, they are about aid, foreign aid. They’re about trade relationships, and they’re about building partnerships for sustainable development in this world.
As you pray through the forty days of Lent, I encourage you to attend to the needs of those with the least around the world. I would invite you to study, both about how human beings live in other parts of the world and our own responsibility as Christians.
What the Bible says more often than anything else is to tend to the needs of the widows and orphans, those without. Jesus himself says, “Care for the least of these.”
I invite you to consider your alms-giving discipline this Lent and remember those in the developing world who go without.
I wish you a blessed Lent and a joyful resurrection at the end of it that may be shared with others around the world.
God bless you.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church