Six Nominees for New Jersey

The Diocese of New Jersey has announced three men and three women as nominees in the search for its 12th bishop. The nominees are:

  • The Rev. David Anderson, rector, St. Luke’s Church, Darien, Connecticut: “I often pray in the sacristy — just as the altar party is ready to go — that we would all be hidden behind the cross of Christ. The point of liturgy is, it’s the work of the people. And if you’re leading it, your role is, paradoxically, to lead and be very visible, and yet to disappear.”
  • The Rev. Joan Beilstein, rector, Church of the Ascension, Silver Spring, Maryland: “I have prepared Ascension for the blessing of same-gender committed relationships in many ways. My spouse and I serve as a healthy role model. By reaching out and forming positive relationships with others, many have moved from opposition, to tolerance, to acceptance.”
  • The Rev. Allen F. Robinson, rector, St. James’ Church, Baltimore: “I am deeply in love with Jesus Christ and am passionate about the transformative preaching and proclamation of the Gospel. The times in which we live demand visionary leaders with strong leadership skills who are not afraid to proclaim the liberating power of God’s love in an increasingly expanding, secular culture.”
  • The Rev. Canon Melissa M. Skelton, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Seattle, and Canon for Congregational Development and Leadership, Diocese of Olympia: “I’m a person who is grounded in prayer, who thrives on relationship and who, after listening to myself, to God, and to others, is not afraid to act.”
  • The Rev. Canon William Stokes, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Delray Beach, Florida: “I encourage entrepreneurial and collaborative endeavors in ministry rather than using a ‘top down’ style, and believe this approach is the best way for the episcopate and the Church to operate in today’s challenging climate.”
  • The Rev. Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vásquez, rector, St. Paul’s Church, Walnut Creek, California: “I am gifted in rallying people to come together to get things done. I’m much more concerned about building strong bonds of community than I am about protecting structures. I am deeply committed to a collaborative process of decision-making when collaboration doesn’t diminish our ability to be the best we can be.”

The nominees’ biographies are available in an 18-page report to the diocese [PDF].

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