By Kirk Petersen

Southern Ohio

Wayne Smith

The Rt. Rev. Wayne Smith is the sole nominee to serve as provisional bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, where Bishop Thomas Breidenthal resigned for health reasons in late 2020.

Smith, who was the X Bishop of Missouri until he retired in April 2020, will be asked to provide the “outside leadership perspective” that the Cincinnati-based diocese said it was seeking when it decided not to renew its six-month contract with Bishop Kenneth Price, who served as assisting bishop since Breidenthal’s resignation. Price had been a suffragan bishop in Southern Ohio from 1994 to 2012.

“While the Diocese of Southern Ohio has a great deal to celebrate, we also have some work to do before we are ready to begin the search for our next diocesan bishop,” the Standing Committee said in a letter to the diocese. “Pending action by Diocesan Convention, Bishop Smith will begin on August 15, 2021. On that date, Bishop Smith will become the Ecclesiastical Authority and we on the Standing Committee will return to our role as a council of advice for the bishop.”

Louisiana

Morris K. Thompson, Jr.

The Diocese of Louisiana has announced a timeline for the search and election of the XII Bishop of Louisiana, who will succeed the Rt. Rev. Morris K. Thompson, Jr., who announced in March that he will retire in November 2022. Morris has served as bishop since 2010.

“This is not a goodbye notice, rather one of preparation,” Morris wrote.  “I am still your Bishop and have many more months to continue our walk in ministry.  Work goes on as usual until my last day.  I look forward to the days ahead with you.”

Search and transition committees have been appointed. A diocesan profile will be presented to the diocesan convention in November, and the timeline calls for a slate of candidates to be announced on April 1, 2022. An electing convention will be held May 14, leading to consecration of the new bishop on November 19, 2022.

Albany & Pittsburgh

Two dioceses have found technologically innovative ways to advance their ongoing bishop transition processes.

In Albany, where Bishop William H. Love resigned under pressure effective February 1 after defying the General Convention’s decision that same-sex marriage should be allowed in every diocese, the transition process will be scrutinized closely. The Standing Committee responded by releasing a 27-minute video reviewing every step of the process of selecting the X Bishop of Albany, as well as a brief history of the episcopacy.

In Pittsburgh, the slate of five candidates, including two nominated by petition, was announced earlier this spring. On June 14 the candidates gathered as a group at the top of Pittsburgh’s famed Duquesne Incline for a YouTube shoutout to the diocese, with the wind whipping through their hair.  The candidates for IX Bishop of Pittsburgh, left to right in the photo, are:

  • The Rev. Jeffrey D. Murph, rector, St. Thomas Church, Oakmont, Pennsylvania
  • The Very Rev. Kim L. Coleman, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia
  • The Rev. Dr. Ketlen A. Solak, rector, Brandywine Collaborative Ministries, Wilmington, Delaware
  • The Rev. Canon Scott A. Gunn, executive director, Forward Movement, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • The Rev. Diana L. Wilcox, rector, Christ Church in Bloomfield & Glen Ridge, Glen Ridge, New Jersey.