From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Episcopalians: Diocese of Massachusetts elects another Harris as suffragan bishop
Sat, 1 Jun 2002 18:22:00 -0400
June 1, 2002
Episcopalians: Diocese of Massachusetts elects another Harris
as suffragan bishop
By James Solheim
(ENS) The Diocese of Massachusetts elected a suffragan bishop
today who just happens to be a black woman with the name of
Harris, repeating the historic election of Barbara Harris as a
suffragan in 1988, the first woman elected a bishop in the
The Rev. Gayle Harris, currently rector of St. Luke and St.
Simon Cyrene Church in Rochester, New York, was elected on the
second ballot by a simple majority of clergy and lay delegates
to a special diocesan convention June 1 at Boston's Cathedral
Church of St. Paul. The election was greeted with sustained
cheering in the packed cathedral.
Harris will serve with Bishop M. Thomas Shaw SSJE, the
diocesan bishop, and Suffragan Bishop Roy (Bud) Cedarholm. "The
election of Gayle Harris at this time in our history makes an
important statement about our continuing commitment to an
inclusive ministry of advocacy and spiritual presence," said
Shaw. "Her skills as a parish priest and church leader will
enrich our ministry in eastern Massachusetts."
A 21-member nominating committee announced the final slate of
candidates in February, following a process that gathered 92
During his speech nominating Harris, Mr. Howard Webber, a
member of the Diocesan Council, said that Harris "brings a large
tapestry of capabilities. Inclusion and reconciliation are the
hallmarks of her ministry, and her experience in an urban
setting is broad and deep. She is a deeply human and even
If she receives consents from a majority of the diocesan
standing committees and the bishops of the church, a
consecration liturgy is scheduled for January 18, 2003.
Harris, who is 52, has been an adjunct professor at Colgate
Rochester Seminary where she taught a course on the life and
mission of contemporary Anglican parishes. Before taking the
parish position in Rochester she was priest-in-charge of Holy
Communion Church in Washington, D.C. She graduated from Church
Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley and is a former
trustee and president of the school's alumni council. She was a
member and president of the standing committee in the Diocese of
Washington and has been a deputy to the last two General
Conventions. She and her husband, the Rev. Peter Peters, have
three adult children and one grandchild.
--James Solheim is director of Episcopal News Service. This
report is based on a news release from the Diocese of
Massachusetts. For more information see the web site at
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