The Diocese of Bethlehem has nominated two priests for the election of its ninth bishop: the Rev. Canon Kevin D. Nichols and the Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley.

Nichols, 56, is chief operating officer and canon for mission resources in the Diocese of New Hampshire, and Woodliff-Stanley, 55, is canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Colorado. The search committee had chosen three nominees, but one withdrew shortly before the slate was presented to the standing committee, which oversees the election.

“Formed in both the Roman Catholic and Anglican/Episcopal traditions, my ministry has been in the mountains and small cities of New Hampshire,” Nichols wrote. “I began as a bi-vocational priest in a small rural parish, while working full-time as an account manager in the business world. I have served as rector of a program-size congregation. Currently, as Canon for Mission Resources / CFO of the diocese, I fulfill a strategic role that blends my administrative and mission backgrounds. I believe I bring particular skills, a non-anxious presence, and a listening heart to the work that is before you.”

“Three weeks ago, our family talked into the wee hours with one question before us: should I be invited to continue to slate, were we all in?” Woodliff-Stanley wrote. “We discussed our fears, our hopes, our wonderings. Finally, I asked each person; one by one the answers came, ‘yes … yes … yes….’

“… [Y]ou are warm, welcoming, disarmingly authentic, and clearly courageous. I am drawn to your love of Jesus—it shows. You do scary things—big things that take courage. I admire that in you.

The diocese will receive nominees by petition until Feb. 15. The election is scheduled for April 28 at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity.

Adapted from the Diocese of Bethlehem

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