[Episcopal News Service] Six priests have been nominated to stand for election to become bishop suffragan in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
- The Rev. Randy Alexander, 45, rector, Christ Church, Pelham (Diocese of New York);
- The Rev. Canon Susan Goff, 58, canon to the ordinary, Diocese of Virginia;
- The Very Rev. David May, 52, rector, Grace Church, Kilmarnock (Diocese of Virginia);
- The Very Rev. Dr. Hilary Smith, 43, rector, St. Paul’s on-the-Hill, Winchester (Diocese of Virginia);
- The Very Rev. Shirley Smith Graham, 43, rector, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Williamsburg (Diocese of Southern Virginia); and
- The Rev. Canon Sue Sommer, 55, subdean and canon pastor, Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral (Diocese of West Missouri).
The six nominees were selected from an initial field of 78 names submitted to the Nominating Committee, according to a diocesan press release. “Of these, 38 agreed to enter into the discernment process with us. Through careful and prayerful discernment, the committee then narrowed the potential nominees over the course of several months through a review of submitted documents, telephone interviews, travel to visit potential nominees and a discernment retreat,” the release said.
Additional nominations by petition will be accepted until Feb. 13.
All nominees will participate in a series of meetings March 19-23 to provide the diocese with the opportunity to meet, hear from and talk with the candidates.
The person selected as bishop suffragan will assist Bishop Shannon Johnston in the leadership of the diocese.
Since the election falls within 120 days of the start of the July 4-12 meeting of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention, that body must consent to the bishop-elect’s ordination.
The Diocese of Virginia includes 180 congregations, six schools, two diocesan centers and six diocesan homes throughout 38 counties of central, northern and northwestern Virginia. The diocese also is home to the largest Anglican seminary in the world, Virginia Theological Seminary.