Sept. 3, 2009, Pittsburgh – A bishop from a neighboring diocese has been nominated to lead the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh for the next several years until a permanent bishop can be elected.
Fr. John Throop, former interim priest of St. George’s, will lead the service. A light supper will follow in the church basement. All are welcome.
Today the Standing Committee, the diocese’s current leaders, announced that it has chosen the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr. and is recommending to the diocesan convention that the Southern Ohio bishop serve here as provisional bishop.
In May, Macomb Episcopalians held a mass celebrated by Diocese of Quincy Provisional Bishop John Buchanan, who urged the group to “live in the sunshine” as they move forward.
In that role, Bishop Price would assume full ecclesiastical authority and responsibility as chief pastor and overseer of diocesan administration and finances.
“With his 15-years experience as a bishop, and having been the interim ecclesiastical authority in Southern Ohio, he knows what needs to be done for a diocese in transition,” says the Rev. Dr. James Simons, President of the Standing Committee.
From January 2006 through April 2007, Bishop Price led the Southern Ohio diocese upon the retirement of its bishop until the election of a successor. He has served there as the bishop suffragan, an assisting bishop, since 1994.
Bishop Price’s nomination comes as the Pittsburgh diocese is about to begin its second year of rebuilding after many former diocesan leaders left the Episcopal Church in October 2008.
“I would see myself coming to Pittsburgh as part of a collaborative effort,” says Bishop Price. “My job is not to create policy, but to work with the people of the diocese, to lift up their vision of who they want to be, and bring them to a place where they can elect the person they want to lead them as their diocesan bishop,” a process likely to take two to three years.
Provisional bishops are also elected by the diocesan convention, the governing body of an Episcopal diocese. Typically, only one name is put forward in such elections. The convention meets on October 17.
If elected, Bishop Price would spend all but a few days each month in Pittsburgh serving diocese. He will continue with a limited number of parish visitations in Southern Ohio.
As the bishop suffragan there, he had devoted special attention to congregational development, youth and outreach ministries, and various governing bodies.
Dr. Simons, the Standing Committee president, sees the election of a provisional bishop with full ecclesiastical authority, especially in the person of Bishop Kenneth Price, as the next steps needed for the Pittsburgh diocese.
“Even though it has worked sufficiently for us in our first year of rebuilding, we will be better served by moving beyond leadership by committee,” Simons wrote in a letter to the diocese announcing Bishop Price’s nomination, adding “It also helps that Bishop Price has lived much of his life in neighboring West Virginia and Southern Ohio; he knows our history and understands our culture.”