Saturday, October 31, 2009

MN search is over: Brian Prior elected on 5th ballot

The Reverend Brian Prior was elected as the 9th Bishop of Minnesota today on the 5th ballot ... rising to the top of a stellar and diverse slate of qualified candidates for the episcopate.

"Where does he stand on 'your issues,'" I was asked a little while ago ... as it became clear that his election was likely.

"Which one of "my issues" are you asking about?" I asked back. (Still feeling a little contrary since the Dodgers aren't in the World Series.)

"You mean "my issues" of proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ Jesus -- or "my issues" of protecting the dignity of every human being -- or of striving for peace and justice -- of serving the least, the last and the lost? Which "issues" do you want to start with?"

Let's check:

When asked about ministry with the marginalized, including the LGBT community, bishop-elect Prior replied, [from the DioMN website candidate Q&A page] "The amount of work and witness still needed to combat the lack of respect for the dignity of every human being is unquestionably clear.

[In seminary] the core Gospel justice value of inclusion became a theological priority. Consistently since that time I have worked to challenge systems that at best marginalize, and at worst outright exclude others based on race, gender, sexual orientation or age. The foundational question that I always ask those I serve with is this: who is not, and why are they not, at the table."

So ... would I have loved to have had the Diocese of Minnesota send a woman or LGBT bishop to the House of Bishops? Absolutely. When faced with equally qualified candidates for any leadership position I believe it behooves those with the power to do so to exercise a preferential option for the under-represented and to bring those without power to the table.

Nevertheless ... I believe at this point in the life of the church it is a sign of GREAT good news that a diocese has had the opportunity to choose from a slate of qualified candidates the one they and the Holy Spirit have discerned to be the BEST bishop to lead them into God's future. A slate that included men and women, gay and straight, Anglo and Native American. This is our Episcopal Church at its best.

The Diocese of Minnesota has elected a new bishop. Let us rejoice and be glad with them!


susankay said...

Rejoicing and glad.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Of course I'm sad that there isn't another women - albeit a most highly qualified lesbian woman - in the HOB. It would seem, for the moment, that TEC has been spared the slings and arrows of the outrageous accusations of "tearing the fabric of The Anglican Communion".

All that being said, Brian Prior is a GREAT choice. Let the whole church rejoice and be glad.

Mitchell said...

Was this the Buddhist Bishop??

Sandy said...

December is just around the corner...