MARYLAND: Diocese set to ordain and consecrate Eugene Sutton as 14th bishop

June 24, 2008

The Rev. Canon Eugene Sutton will be ordained and consecrated June 28 as the 14th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be the chief consecrator at the service, which will take place at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Nearly 30 Episcopal bishops from around the United States and throughout the Anglican Communion will also participate, according to a diocesan news release. The Rev. Dr. Barry C. Black, a native of Baltimore and the first African-American chaplain of the U.S. Senate, will preach.

Sutton will begin his first full day as bishop June 29 at the Church of the Guardian Angel, which has a focused outreach to homeless people in Baltimore. Afterwards, he will lead a procession--a "bishop's urban walk"-- through the streets of Baltimore to the Cathedral of the Incarnation, just over a mile away from Guardian Angel, according to the news release. He will be joined on his walk by young people who have spent the week in a homeless shelter.

Once at the cathedral, Sutton will knock on the doors and be greeted by a delegation from the congregation. He will deliver his first sermon as bishop at a welcoming and seating service at the cathedral.

Sutton, 54, was canon pastor at Washington National Cathedral and director of the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage (Diocese of Washington) when he was elected March 29 on the first ballot out of a field of five nominees. The election took place at St. James' Church, Lafayette Square, Baltimore.

Sutton has served parishes in the dioceses of New Jersey and Washington. He has taught homiletics and liturgics at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and General Theological Seminary. He has also served as assistant to the bishop in the Diocese of New Jersey. Sutton is a frequent leader of retreats and conferences on prayer, preaching, spirituality and mission.

Sutton is married to Sonya Subbayya Sutton. Their family includes four children.

More information about Sutton is available here.

The search process for the successor to Bishop Robert W. Ihloff, who retired in April 2007, began in February 2007. Maryland's Bishop Suffragan John L. Rabb was named bishop-in-charge of the diocese by the Standing Committee effective April 11, 2007. He will resume his suffragan position when Sutton is ordained and consecrated.

The Diocese of Maryland comprises approximately 44,000 Episcopalians covering 10 counties of rural and urban Maryland, including the cities of Baltimore, Annapolis and Frederick. The diocese has 116 parishes, many of them established more than 200 years ago.

-- The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is Episcopal Life Media correspondent for Episcopal Church governance, structure, and trends, as well as news of the dioceses of Province II.

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