By Douglas LeBlanc
For the second consecutive time, the Diocese of Lexington has drawn from the Diocese of Atlanta in electing its bishop. The Very Rev. Douglas Hahn, rector of St. Thomas Church, Columbus, was elected on the second ballot Aug. 18 during the diocese’s annual convention at Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington.
Dean Hahn led on the first ballot, followed closely by the Rt. Rev. Marray Santosh, assisting bishop in the Diocese of East Carolina.
The sixth Bishop of Lexington, the Rt. Rev. Stacy F. Sauls, was rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church, Atlanta, when he was elected in 2000. Sauls became chief operating officer at the Episcopal Church Center in September 2011.
The other nominees were:
- The Rev. Ronald Abrams, rector, St. James, Wilmington, North Carolina
- The Rev. Bruce Boss, rector, Church of the Nativity, Indianapolis, who was added by petition
- The Rev. LaRae Rutenbar, professional interim minister, most recently at St. Peter’s Church, Rome, Georgia
- The Rev. Nigel Taber-Hamilton, rector, St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods, Freeland, Washington
In his profile for the election, Hahn said that the question “What is God up to?” has characterized his ministry since his pastoral training in the late 1970s.
“What is God up to in the various crises of life and faith I encounter? What is God up to in the interactions of this band of clergy?” Hahn wrote.
“When I spent a period of my ministry in Christian social ministry in Atlanta, I trained lay volunteers and college groups using this method of action/reflection: What is God up to in the brokenness of homelessness, addiction, domestic abuse, or the juvenile justice system? What does God show us about the world and our call to that world in our ministry among ‘the least of these’?”
Similar questions arose when Hahn was treated for prostate cancer in 2011.
“I made use of the wise counsel of a man who has been my spiritual guide for many years. Having walked with me through every twist and turn of these years, he asks what God might be up to in every situation, encouraging me to consider even the rockiest ground as soil where the spirit can flourish,” he wrote. “I encourage every priest to find and nurture such a relationship, and it was especially life giving in my days of distress.”
Through a missionary couple, St. Thomas is involved in education and health ministries in central Tanzania. The Rev. Sandra McCann, M.D., and her husband, Martin McCann, M.D., have served in Dodoma, Tanzania, since November 2004.
Sandra McCann is communications director and chaplain of Msalato Theological College. Martin McCann operates a histopathology laboratory in the Mackay House Anglican Mission Clinic in the Diocese of Central Tanganyika, and consults and teaches at the Mvumi Anglican Mission Hospital about 30 kilometers outside of Dodoma. He also teaches HIV/AIDS courses at Msalato Theological College.
Through the McCanns, the parish is building a well to provide safer drinking water to a village of 3,000 people.