From Columbus: Navajoland gets new bishop

June 19, 2006

A plan to have Bishop Mark MacDonald of Alaska become the assisting bishop of Navajoland Area Mission while continuing to serve as the Alaska diocesen has been approved by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold.

Griswold told the House of Bishops that he had approved the plan, which was requested by both Alaska and Navajoland during the 75th General Convention June 19 in Columbus, Ohio.

The diocese and the area mission would also explore what that partnership means during the next year and a half, MacDonald said.

Bishop Rustin Kimsey, retired bishop of Eastern Oregon and the current assisting bishop of Navajoland, would retire from his Navajoland post on July 1.

As an Area Mission, Navajoland is subject the ultimate oversight of the Presiding Bishop and House of Bishops.

The 30th annual Navajoland Convocation, held June 2-4 at Fort Defiance, Arizona, approved the request, as did the Standing Committee and Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Alaska, which met by telephone June 3.

Both Kimsey and MacDonald were at the Navajoland convocation. MacDonald served as vicar at Good Shepherd, Fort Defiance, prior to his election as Bishop of Alaska.

Kimsey has been serving as assisting bishop for Navajoland, at Griswold's request, since the death of the Rt. Rev. Steven Plummer on April 2, 2005.