The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts-Schori photo

The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori will be the keynote speaker at the Green Faith Forum.

Grace Episcopal Church of Morganton will welcome the former presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, who will speak at the church’s second annual Green Faith Forum Sept. 28-29.The purpose of the forum is to call attention to Christian engagement and the environment.

The Right Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori will keynote the public forum at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, which will include a panel discussion, book signing and reception. She will speak on the topic, “Climate Change: Grief, Growth, Gratitude and Grace,” and will discuss the church’s role in responding to this crisis through advocacy, stewardship and sustainability efforts. The panel discussion will include the Right Rev. Bishop José McLoughlin, bishop of the Diocese of Western North Carolina.

“This event is an important milestone, not just in the life of our parish, but in the life of our community and western North Carolina, as we seek to live into our calling to be faithful stewards of God’s creation,” said the Rev. Marshall A. Jolly, rector of Grace Church.

The forum began last year with a public discussion featuring Wake Forest University’s Fred Bahnson, author of “Soil and Sacrament,” who spoke on ecology, sustainable agriculture and contemplative spirituality. The Green Faith Forum is dedicated to issues of environmental sustainability, advocacy, conservation and Christian engagement. It is sponsored by Grace Church’s Green Team, which led the church to become the first congregation (of any denomination) in North Carolina to be certified as a “Green Sanctuary” by Green Faith, a national non-denominational organization.

The Green Team has led several environmentally focused programs at the church, including the installation of a pollinator garden, a plastic bottle-cap reuse project and screenings of documentaries on pressing environmental issues.

In addition to Jefferts Schori’s keynote talk, she will lead a Sunday School discussion and preach at the 10:30 a.m. choral Eucharist on Sunday, Sept. 29. Again, the public is invited.

Jefferts Schori served The Episcopal Church as presiding bishop from 2006-15. She was the first woman to lead the nationwide denomination and was the first woman to lead a member province of the Anglican Communion. A scientist, she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Stanford University and went on to earn master’s and Ph.D. degrees in oceanography from Oregon State University. Before becoming presiding bishop, she served as the bishop of Nevada. She has written extensively on the environment and the church’s response to changing ecosystem needs. Most recently, she served two years as provisional bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

Both forums have received financial support from The Episcopal Church’s “Care of Creation” grant program and locally, from the Grace Episcopal Church Foundation.

For additional information, contact the Rev. Marshall A. Jolly at 828-437-1133 or at rector@gracemorganton.org. Grace Episcopal Church is located at 303 S. King St. in Morganton.

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