After eight ballots, seven of them split between clergy and lay votes, the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe has elected the Rev. Mark Edington as bishop.
From the first ballot, Edington led among the laity and the Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, founder and president of the arts and peace-building ministry CARAVAN, led among clergy. On the final ballot, Edington received 13 clergy votes and Chandler received 10.
Two other nominees — the Rev. Steven D. Paulikas, rector of All Saints’ Church in Brooklyn, and the Very Rev. Benjamin A. Shambaugh, dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Portland, Maine — withdrew after the second ballot.
He will be the second elected bishop of the convocation, after the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon. Edington is rector of St. John’s Church in Newtonville, Massachusetts, and director of Amherst College Press.
“I begin to work with you from a position of learning and posture of humility,” Edington said by cell phone to the assembled delegates at the convocation’s convention in Waterloo, Belgium. “I come to you as a person eager to learn, eager to be a disciple.”
Before his appointment at Amherst, Edington was senior executive officer of interdisciplinary research centers at Harvard, including the Center for the Study of World Religions and the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory.
He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is active in the Religion and Foreign Policy program, and his essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and other national publications. His wife, Judith, is a tax attorney.
“I see the convocation in many ways as the future of the church,” Edington said in a video message before the election. He noted that Episcopalians in Europe live in a heavily secular, multiethnic society in which people of faith are in intentional conversation with other communities.
“You are already living in a culture that America will be living in, in 40 years,” he said. “We can together teach the rest of the church how to move into that future.”
Adapted from the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe