By Kirk Petersen
The Rev. Jeffrey Mello was elected on the sixth ballot on May 21 to be the 16th Bishop of Connecticut. Mello, currently the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brookline, Massachusetts, prevailed on a slate of five nominees. He will succeed the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, who has served since 2009.
“I am humbled and I am honored that you have chosen me to be your 16th bishop of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut,” Mello told the electing convention via Zoom. “With my whole heart, my whole mind, and my whole body I accept your election and invitation to serve as your next bishop diocesan… I cannot wait to be with you, grow with you, to join you in the work that lays ahead.”
Assuming he receives consent from a majority of diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction, Mello will be consecrated October 15 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. He declined to be interviewed for this article.
Before ordination, Mello was a clinical social worker, with a master’s degree in social work from Simmons College in Boston. A native of Rhode Island, he attended Rhode Island College in Providence, and received his master’s of divinity from Episcopal Divinity School, which was then based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is now part of Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Mello and his husband, Paul, have a college-age son. He is the seventh openly gay person to be elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church.
The other nominees were:
- The Rev. Glenna Huber, Rector, Church of the Epiphany, Washington, D.C.
- The Very Rev. Kate Moorehead, Dean, St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Jacksonville, Florida
- The Rev. Canon Tanya Wallace, Rector, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, South Hadley, Massachusetts
and Petition Nominee:
- The Rev. Whitney Altopp, Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Connecticut is one of the nine original dioceses of the Episcopal Church, and encompasses the entire state. In the 2020 parochial report, the diocese reported 43,373 members in 155 congregations.