Retired Easton Bishop Sorge dies in Colorado

By ENS staff
Posted Dec 7, 2011

[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Elliot L. Sorge, eighth bishop of the Diocese of Easton, died Dec. 6 in Centennial, Colorado. He was 82.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 10 at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Centennial. Sorge and his wife, Marjorie, were living in Centennial, a suburb of Denver. A memorial will be held in Easton early in 2012.

Bishop Sorge was the bishop of South Central Brazil (1971-1977) and of Easton (1983-1993). He served on the staff of the Episcopal Church Center in New York as officer for the development of ministry, beginning in 1977. Under his tenure, the unit underwent an extensive reorganization and operated through a series of networks that served parish needs in evangelism, education, youth ministries and lay development, and the wider church through deployment and seminary coordination, according to a Diocesan Press Service story about his election in Easton.

Sorge was elected on the first ballot April 30, 1983 at the cathedral in Easton, the see city of the diocese on the eastern shore of Maryland. He succeeded the Rt. Rev. W. Moultrie Moore.

A native of Indiana, Sorge was a graduate of De Pauw University and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. He served missions and parishes in Ellendale, Fargo and Oakes, North Dakota from his ordination in 1954 until he went to Brazil as a missionary 10 years later.

He was elected bishop of the newly created Diocese of South-Central Brazil in the Igreja Episcopal do Brasil and was consecrated in Sao Paulo on Jan. 31, 1971. He served until 1977.

In addition to his wife, Sorge is survived by three children, Brian D. Sorge, the Rev. Marianne Sorge Ell, and Ruth L. Sorge.


Comments (6)

  1. The Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel says:

    I feel honored to have known and worked with Eliot, one of the most dynamic, energetic, and creative church leaders in recent Episcopal Church history. He had a remarkable ability to envision innovative approaches to planning and pursuing mission—both domestic and overseas. His unique ability was to cut through administrative layers and strata, enabling the “folks” to be just as influential as the “people.” Not always understood , Eliot was sometimes perceived by traditionalists and ecclesiastical powerbrokers as a “maverick” who threatened their cosy, safe and familiar institution (as, of course was Jesus) but his ideas live on in the careers of many clergy friends who were profoundly influenced and highly rewarded by his friendship. A loving family -minded person, Eliot’s wife and daughters were always the center of his life.

  2. The Rev. Ann Fontaine says:

    Rise in glory good and faithful servant. Maybe it is time to re-visit his brilliant use of networks.

  3. The Rev. John T. Docker says:

    Bishop Sorge was my first executive at the Episcopal Church Center. It was a joy to work him on Education for Mission and Ministry Unit. His vision of networks to serve dioceses in order that they would serve parishes served the Church for many years. Those were exciting times. I give thanks for his life and ministry.

  4. virginia Dauncey Garman says:

    Marge and Family,
    I was so sorry to hear of Elliot’s death.
    He was such a special person to St. Mary Magdalene in Seven Lakes. Without his vision, help and friendship our small church would not have been able to grow.
    My first husband Roger Dauncey and Elliot became good friends as they looked for land to some day built a church. Elliot was a great comfort to Roger in the last weeks before his death.
    Since you left St Mary Magdalene’s the congregation has bought a store front building along Seven Lakes drive. all of this would not have been possible with out Elliot’s vision.
    I have fond memories of our times with Elliot and the parking lot coffee hours when we started St. Mary Magdalene in the Chapel at Seven Lakes.
    I will keep you in my prayers.
    Virginia Dauncey Garman

  5. Jerry Hames says:

    Elliot, together with Bishop John MacNaughton, were two members of the communications committee of Executive Council when I began work in 1990 as editor of the “new” Episcopal Life, successor to The Episcopalian. Because of this, he was much involved in the month-by-month early development of the publication and I valued immensely both his experience and support for the publication as the staff weaved its way through bureaucratic minefields, such as the theat of a General Convention boycott in Arizona in 1991.

  6. Michael Tuckwell says:

    Living now in the UK, I have only just seen the notice of Rev Elliot Sorge’s passing. I met him and his wife and family when I was a young UNA agronomist volunteer working in Brazil from 1966 -68 for Catholic Relief Services. I attended the Episcopal church where he was the minister in Belem in the north of Brasil at the mouth of the Amazon. Both he and his wife Marjorie were extremely kind to me at that time, welcoming me into their home for meals. I hope if Marjorie still survives hime she may receive these comments. They were a very kind couple all those years ago to me a Scots volunteer working in Brazil.

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