"All people - including gay and lesbian Christians and non-Christians - are deserving of the fullest regard of the church," the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori declared during an hourlong discussion before services. "We're not going backward."
Jefferts Schori said these are the views of the church's bishops as well as its lay members - who have increasingly affirmed rights for same-sex couples. As such, Jefferts Schori's comments served as the punctuation to a historic day.
The 27,000-member Diocese of California, based in San Francisco, has ordained more gay and lesbian clergy than any other. Priests in the diocese - which includes San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa counties and part of Santa Clara County - have blessed same-sex unions for more than three decades.
Those practices, once on the margins of the Episcopal Church, have become the mainstream.
Jefferts Schori said on Sunday that she sees the path of Christ in a different manner.
"Jesus hung out with people on the margins," she said. "He hung out with people who were unacceptable to the Judaism of his time.
"He didn't spend a great deal of his time seeking to throw people out. My sense of what it means to follow Jesus is to love the image of God in our neighbors and respond to the needs of the image of God in our neighbors."
Jefferts Schori is skeptical of the fate of any breakaway churches or diocese, saying Duncan's efforts would be the latest in a line of splinter groups that failed.
Well, here we are just one year later Katie Girl .... I think you will eat those last words above, in that Satan has been trying to kill the Church since Christ was born (earlier actually) ... Satan has used puppets like Herod to try and Destroy Christ's Church. Your actions as a puppet are bringing the Anglicans of this country into unison, with a purpose to evangelize as the Great Commission calls us to do. A church without Christ at it's center will fail, just as the ancient worship of Baal ... Katie you may captain the ship of Apostasy onto the shores of doom, but the believing faithful of this country will bandage your wounds and pray for your recovery, much like the Samaritan cared for the beaten and trodden. Those that leave your direction - in the Spirit - will NOT FAIL!