The Rt. Rev. William E. Swing


President and Founding Trustee

Bishop William Swing is the President and Founder of the URI. Bishop Swing had the original vision of URI in 1993 in response to an invitation from the United Nations which asked him to host an interfaith service honoring the 50th anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter. Bishop Swing served as the Episcopal Bishop of California from 1980 until his retirement in 2006. In that capacity, he was a national and international leader in response to the AIDS crisis, co-founded Episcopal Community Services to address San Francisco’s homeless problem, and co-founded Community Bank of the Bay to support local businesses and the economy.

Bishop Swing is an inspirational speaker and an author, most recently of A Bishop's Quest: Founding a United Religions and The Sacred and the Silly: A Bishop's Playful and Eventful Life. Both books are available on; the proceeds of book sales will benefit URI.

URI Stories

"My House shall be a House of Prayer for all People"

The following is a sermon given by the Rt. Rev. William E. Swing on July 28th, 2013, at St. Andrew’s Dune Church in Southampton, New York.

Isaiah   56: 3 – 8
Mark  11: 15 - 19

Jesus did not make up these words:  "My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all people."  Those words were written about 500 years before He was born.   Jesus didn't make up those words, but he thought about them....a lot. And he added a few words of his own.  And he did something dramatic to make those words come alive in the great temple in Jerusalem.