Diocese of Bethlehem bishop to turn over his authority Aug. 1

July 21, 2013

[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Bethlehem Bishop Paul V. Marshall announced July 19 that he would retire at the end of this year.

In a letter to the diocesan Standing Committee, he said that he would turn over ecclesiastical authority for the diocese to the Standing Committee on Aug. 1, at which time he will begin vacation. Beginning in September, he will be on sabbatical leave for the rest of the year.

“It was my long-held intention to serve you as long as the canons permit,” Marshall wrote in his letter. “Life contains surprises, however. A number of circumstances and conversations have made it very for me to continue as bishop of a diocese that I have come to love with all my heart. I will resign for the canonical reasons of ‘advanced age’ as of December 31 of this year.”

Marshall, who will turn 66 on July 25, began serving the diocese as bishop in 1996. He could have served until age 72, according to Article II, Section 9 of the church’s Constitution. The bishop’s citing of ‘advanced age’ is referenced in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution.

The Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church in Easton, Pennsylvania and president of the Blehem Standing Committee, wrote in a letter to the diocese the day after Marshall’s announcement that the news “means that we as a diocesan community will begin our own process of listening for God and each other as we discern God’s will and together decide how we will act on it. There are many questions and there is much to do.”

The full diocesan press release is here.

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