Saturday, April 21, 2012

Susan Goff elected Bishop Suffragan

Bishop Ted Gulick, Susan Goff, and Bishop Shannon Johnston
photo taken at today's electing Council
FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia -- Today we made history: the election of Susan Goff as Bishop Suffragan in the Diocese of Virginia. She is the first woman so elected in our diocese, the largest domestic diocese in the Episcopal Church.

And someone can correct me on this: To my knowledge, Susan is the first woman elected bishop from a Southern diocese (if we don't count Washington D.C.).

Susan was elected from an extraordinary group of six nominees, two of whom were formed as Christians as young adults through the Canterbury program at St. Paul's Memorial Church (Hillary Smith and Randy Alexander).

I've gotten to know Susan the last couple of years in her capacity as Canon to the Ordinary. She led our Vestry retreat in January. She is prayerful and a great listener. She also knows how to get to the heart of matters without injecting her own agenda.

Today's election was held at St. George's Episcopal Church, an historic church in the center of Fredericksburg. We jammed into the old pew boxes, sang hymns, had Eucharist, listened to meditations, and cast ballots. We broke for lunch and returned for more this afternoon. Susan was elected in the fourth ballot (it takes a majority of both clergy and lay delegates to have an election).

We stood to applaud, and she addressed us from the pulpit for the first time as Bishop-elect to thank everyone, especially her fellow nominees, for the prayers and the trust.

It was my privilege to be a part of this election and to be with so many faithful people.


joy said...

+Dena Harrison was elected a few years back in the Diocese of Texas (since it's that's east Texas that counts as southern).

The Rev. James Richardson said...

Thanks. Not sure the Virginians think of Texas as Southern, and I am married to a Texan.

Anonymous said...

Carol Gallagher in Southwestern Virginia