Pittsburgh churches

Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Expands Candidate List for Episcopate

Two more names have been added to the list of candidates for the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Reverend Jeffrey Murph, rector of St. Thomas Memorial Church in Oakmont, and Reverend Canon Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, a Cincinnati-based spiritual renewal program, joined a list with three other candidates across the petition process.

The other nominees, all women, are: The Right Reverend Kim Coleman, Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Arlington, Virginia; the Rev. Dr. Ketlen Solak, rector of Brandywine Collaborative Ministries in Wilmington, Del .; and Reverend Diana Wilcox, Rector of Christ Church in Glen Ridge and Bloomfield, NJ

The process of finding a new bishop began when Bishop Dorsey McConnell announced in December 2019 that he would be retiring in 2021. In February 2020, a 14-member nominating committee began recommending three to five candidates for office. stand for election.

“The selection of these candidates started with a large number of candidates compared to other episcopal dioceses recently,” said Rev. Noah Evans, Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Mount Lebanon and Chairman of the Standing Committee of diocese, the board of directors. who oversees the election. “We are deeply grateful for the work of the nominating committee in discerning these individuals. “

The election is set for June 26 at a special diocesan congress. The elected person must obtain the majority of the votes of the lay deputies and the clergy.

“I am convinced that my experience, combined with my pastoral and administrative gifts, allows me to be both the bridge and the builder of bridges that the diocese seeks,” said Coleman.

Solak describes herself as a visionary and collaborative leader.

“I am also an insightful listener, a creative and strategic thinker who is able to discern viable alternatives amid the complexity,” she said.

Wilcox’s spiritual origins include experiences in the Baptist Church.

“All of my life ministry is built on a foundation of faith that began in my childhood,” she said. “I was raised a Baptist and then chose the Episcopal Church for the way the liturgy touches my heart and for my deep commitment to justice.

Before the pandemic, Gunn’s ministry involved nonstop travel.

“I look forward to a more rooted ministry in one place, in a community with which I can build deep and lasting relationships,” he said.

Murph began serving as a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh 26 years ago.

“Having visited most of the churches in our diocese, I have seen the faithfulness and hard work of so many of our laity and clergy through all kinds of challenges,” he said.

Next week, the five candidates are due to visit the diocese.

The new bishop will be consecrated on November 13, 2021, succeeding McConnell.

Paul Guggenheimer is an editor for Tribune-Review. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected]

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