The Episcopal Church, following the lead of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), has become the second mainline church in American history - and the first in the worldwide Anglican Communion - to choose a woman as their leader.
Katharine Jefferts Schori, currently the bishop of Nevada, will be the new presiding bishop.
A couple of initial thoughts: Bishop Jefferts Schori was trained as a scientist. She is the only one that I can recall that emphasized the Millennium Development Goals in the interviews. She was also the only bishop who testified at the hearings regarding the MDG. As these goals appear to be emerging as the future vision of the Episcopal Church, she is the right person at the right time.
Absolutely no one I talked to before the election had predicted this. What a wonderful surprise. The Deputies are absolutely elated. Everything happening here is beginning to stream together.
The Spirit is moving among us. God is doing a new thing in Columbus.
The Rev. Sharon Watkins was named the general minister and president of the Disciples last summer.
Women have always been leaders in the Christian tradition - in the early Christian movement this was particularly true - but have often been excluded from formal leadership positions.
The United Church of Christ ordained the first women minister, Antoinette Brown, in 1853.
Let our prayers be with the people of the Episcopal Church in this historic moment.