Four priests will stand for election as the next Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh April 21. A 16-member Standing Committee announced the slate of candidates Monday.
"Three of the final eight were from the state of Pennsylvania," said the Very Reverend George Werner, Dean Emeritus of Trinity Cathedral and president of the nominating committee. "All the four that emerged for our particular unique situation, none of them happen to be [from] Pennsylvania."
The four candidates are:
- The Rev. Canon Michael N. Ambler, Jr., Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, Bath, Maine
- The Rev. Dorsey W. M. McConnell, Rector of Church of the Redeemer, Newton, Massachusetts
- The Rev. R. Stanley Runnels, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Kansas City, Missouri
- The Rev. Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Denver, Colorado
According to the Very Rev. Werner, the four have strong academic backgrounds. "They are very, very bright, but they've also had interesting experiences," he said.
Members of the diocese have until February 5 to nominate additional candidates. The petitions must have ten signatures from four clergy and six lay members representing three parishes, and, of course, the approval of the proposed candidate.
The diocese is looking for a successor to Bishop Kenneth Price, who has served as interim bishop since 2009 following the split in the Episcopal Diocese. A majority of the parishes voted to leave the Episcopal Church over a dispute about the ordination of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and other doctrinal issues. Those parishes then formed a more conservative Anglican Church led by the former Pittsburgh Episcopal Bishop Robert Duncan.
Werner says there are certain qualities he would like to see in the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese. "Someone who understands that the 21st Century is different and that we're going to have to move into different ways of ministry with the dramatic changes going on in the world, in our country, in our church," Werner said.
According to Werner, a convention will be held April 21st. Following prayers and scripture readings, ballots will be cast to select the new bishop.