Friday, July 27, 2012

Episcopal Diocese of Va. to consecrate first female bishop

From Virginia-

From the time Susan E. Goff was a little girl, she aspired to a role that women weren't allowed to fill.

"I grew up wanting to be a priest for my entire life, as long as I can remember," she said.

Four years after the Episcopal Church voted in 1976 to allow females to be priests and bishops, she was ordained as a priest at St. John's Church in Tappahannock.

After serving in that role in Virginia for 32 years, Goff this weekend will be ordained as the first female bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, breaking through what she called the "stained-glass ceiling."

"It feels a little awesome, terrifying, a huge responsibility and a great privilege," said Goff, 59, of Richmond, sitting in the church's offices in the Mayo Memorial Church House in Richmond.

Goff, formerly the chaplain of St. Catherine's School, said she is excited that when she begins serving with two male bishops, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, the bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, and the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. "Ted" Gulick Jr., the assistant bishop, "no one is left out."

"People are going to look at the altar … and women and girls will see a reflection of themselves," said Goff, noting that the church historically has excluded women from leadership roles.

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