Diocese of Rhode Island chooses five to stand for bishop election

By ENS staff
Posted Mar 12, 2012

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island’s Search and Nomination Committee has selected five priests to stand for election as the 13th bishop of Rhode Island.

The announcement was made March 10 during the diocese’s annual convocation.

The preliminary slate consists of:

* the Rev. Kurt Dunkle, 50, rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Orange Park, Florida (Diocese of Florida);

* the Rev. Cathy George, 55, currently on a writing sabbatical; former priest-in-charge, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts (Diocese of Massachusetts);

* the Very Rev. Nicholas Knisely, 51, dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona (Diocese of Arizona);

* the Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, 52, rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Diocese of Pennsylvania); and

* the Rev. Jennifer Pedrick, 45, rector, Church of the Epiphany, Rumford, Rhode Island (Diocese of Rhode Island).

A Nominee Profiles booklet features the nominees’ autobiographies and their answers to four essay questions posed by the Search and Nomination Committee. All the nominees will visit the diocese May 11-12, including an all-day public event on May 12, at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, where they will make remarks and answer questions from lay and clergy attendees, according to a press release.

Announcement of the slate opened a petition nomination process that closes at 5 p.m. EDT on March 25. Additional information about that process is on the Petition Candidates Resource page of the bishop search website. The process replaces the former custom of allowing nominations from the floor during the electing convention, which the diocesan canons no longer allow.

The person elected will succeed Bishop Geralyn Wolf, 64, who has been the diocesan bishop since February 1996.

The election will take place June 2, at St. Paul’s Church in Pawtucket. Because the election will occur close in time to the77th meeting of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in July, Episcopal Church canons provide (in Canon III.11.3)  for the required consents to be sought from the bishops and deputies at convention.

Subject to obtaining that consent, the bishop-elect will be ordained as bishop of Rhode Island at a ceremony on Nov. 17, at St. George’s School in Middletown.

“The committee members and I spent 2 and a half days in discernment with these priests, and I am very excited about what each of them would bring to the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island,” said Lora MacFall, committee chair, in the press release. She called that time “the final step in a nine-month process that was centered in prayer and respectful listening and conversation.”


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Comments (3)

  1. Twila Smith says:

    I realize there are multiple definitions for the term “stand,” but the headline and opening sentence here suggests a requirement that all candidates have the physical ability to stand.

  2. Morris Post says:

    @TwilaSmith: are you kidding me? I think we all know what “stand” means in this context.

  3. Robert L. Campbell says:

    “Stand” is more of a British term for elections. American politicians typically run for office, while British politicians “stand”. With the impending closing of the Cathedral in Providence, it won’t be an easy job for a bishop to step into. 50-60 years ago, I think Rhode Island had the highest Episcopal percentage of any state in the U.S.

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