Challenge Awaits New Bishop March 12, 2012 News The Diocese of Rhode Island has announced nominees from five states in the search for its 13th bishop. A search and nomination committee recommended one priest from within the diocese: the Rev. Jennifer Pedrick, 45, rector, Church of the Epiphany, Rumford. These are the other four nominees: The Rev. Kurt Dunkle, 50, rector, Grace Church, Orange Park, Fla.; The Rev. Cathy George, 55, former priest-in-charge, St. Mary’s Church, Dorchester, Mass., who is on a writing sabbatical. The Very Rev. Nicholas Knisely, 51, dean, Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix; The Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, 52, rector, St. Peter’s Church, Philadelphia. The diocese will accept nominees by petition until March 25. The election is scheduled for June at St. Paul’s Church, Pawtucket. One challenge the new bishop will face is a cathedral in limbo. The Rt. Rev. David B. Joslin, acting dean, announced Feb. 19 that the Cathedral of St. John must suspend its services. “The cathedral “has experienced growing financial difficulty over a period of years. Now it has become more than a difficulty,” Joslin wrote to parishioners after announcing the suspension during an annual meeting. “Simply put, we are now out of money. Last year we had a deficit of about $250,000 which was covered by reserves. Now those reserves have been used up. “Please note that while services and parish life are being suspended it does not mean that the Cathedral is being permanently closed. Suspending services now leaves open the possibility of new uses for the Cathedral in the future mission strategy of the Diocese.” A diocesan profile [PDF] published in October acknowledged the cathedral’s difficulties. “Old, historic buildings require a great deal of money and care to be properly maintained, and many of ours have not been. Our cathedral, in particular, faces an uncertain future given the repairs needed to keep it as a viable building and the small size of its congregation,” the profile said. “Whatever develops in the coming months, this issue will need a great deal of attention in the next few years to determine whether those facilities can be repaired and updated or must be relocated elsewhere. The new bishop will obviously be a key leader, either in choosing the direction that is taken, or in helping to implement whatever decision has been made.” Open publication – Free publishing – More bishop Download nominees’ profiles [PDF].