Oklahoma Episcopalians will meet candidates for bishop post
Oklahoma Episcopalians will have opportunities to visit with the two men who are interested in becoming the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma.
The Rev. Scott A. Gunn and the Rev. Poulson C. Reed will participate in a series of “Walkabouts” Friday through Sunday across the state.
The walkabout gatherings are set for Friday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Lawton, Dec. 7 at Holland Hall School in Tulsa and Dec. 8 at Casady School in Oklahoma City. The Tulsa and Oklahoma City gatherings will be live-streamed.
Gary Derrick, an Oklahoma City attorney who heads up the Episcopal Diocese’s transition committee, said the walkabouts are important aspects of the process to elect a new bishop. He said the gatherings in three different cities will allow Episcopal parishioners, no matter where they live, a better chance to meet the two men. Derrick said a third candidate, the Rev. Greg Methvin, rector of St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Frisco, Texas, withdrew his name consideration for personal reasons, and the search committee chose not to seek another candidate.
Derrick said the two remaining candidates will answer predetermined questions, and they also will take some questions from the walkabout audiences.
“It gives people in the diocese a chance to see these people, see how they respond to an audience, see how they pray,” he said.
Gunn has served as executive director of Forward Movement in Cincinnati since July 2011. He serves as rector of Christ Church in Lincoln, Rhode Island, from June 2007 to March 2011; assistant to the rector at Church of the Epiphany in Rumford, Rhode Island, from February 2005 to May 2007; and as communications officer for the Diocese of Rhode Island in Providence, Rhode Island, from February 2005 to December 2006.
Gunn has written several books, including “Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs & Practices,” co-authored with Melody Shobe, and “Faithful Questions: Exploring the Way with Jesus,” also co-authored by Shobe.
Reed has served as rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church and Day School in Phoenix, Arizona, since 2009. He served as sub-dean at St. John’s Cathedral in Denver from 2007 to 2009; and canon of St. John’s Cathedral from 2002-2007.
A group of lay delegates and all Episcopal clergy will gather at an election convention to select the new bishop coadjutor on Dec. 14 at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The newly elected bishop coadjutor will serve alongside the diocese's current bishop, the Rt. Rev. Ed Konieczny. The new leader will be ordained as bishop coadjutor in April 2020 and will serve in that role until Konieczny’s retirement on Jan. 1, 2021. At that time, the bishop coadjutor will become the Oklahoma Episcopal Diocese’s sixth bishop.
“We have the advantage because the person will serve side by side as sort of a vice bishop, and then when Bishop Ed retires, they automatically take office,” Derrick said.
He said the diocese will pay for the bishop coadjutor’s salary from a special endowment fund set up specifically to cover his salary.
Meanwhile, Derrick said Konieczny was elected as the new bishop on the first ballot, having won a majority.
“After seeing him, meeting him and talking with him, he won enough people over that we only had one ballot,” Derrick said.
• 6 p.m. Friday: St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1313 SW D Ave., Lawton.
• 2 p.m. Dec. 7: Holland Hall School, 5666 E 81st St., Tulsa.
• 3 p.m. Dec. 8: Casady School, 9500 N Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City.
• Dec. 14: Bishop coadjutor election, St. Paul's Cathedral, 127 NW 7.
For more information or to watch the Tulsa and Oklahoma City walkabouts via live stream, go to https://www.epiok.org.