Maryland diocese welcomes Knudsen as assistant bishop

November 8, 2015

ens_051415_chiltonKnudsen[Episcopal Diocese of Maryland — Baltimore] A special Choral Evensong at the Cathedral of the Incarnation here served as the official welcoming by the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland to the Rt. Rev. Chilton R. Knudsen as assistant bishop.

“Chilton, Bishop in the Church of God, and as our assistant bishop, we welcome you to the Diocese of Maryland and to this cathedral church, the symbol and center of the pastoral, liturgical, and teaching ministry that you are to share with (the Rt. Rev.) Eugene (Taylor Sutton) our Bishop Diocesan,” said the Very Rev. Rob Boulter, acting dean of the cathedral.

Knudsen said she was grateful for the welcome. “I promise, God helping me, to continue to be a faithful shepherd and servant among you,” she said. “I pray that the ministry which we will share may be pleasing to God, and that it may strengthen the life of the Diocese of Maryland, and the whole Church of God.”

Boulter then asked Sutton and those gathered if they were ready to continue their ministry with Knudsen as their assistant bishop. All responded with a hearty, “We are.”

In her sermon, Knudsen talked about Evensong being a time to put what has happened during the day into the hands of God. The spirit of Evensong can be summed up, she said, in the words of the late U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, “For all that has been, Thanks. To all that shall be, Yes.”

The diocese has been without a bishop suffragan for 10 months since Heather Cook struck and killed a cyclist while driving while intoxicated. She later resigned her position and last month was sentenced to a seven-year prison sentence.

“Our diocese needed a special leader and I believe the Holy Spirit has sent that leader in the person of Bishop Knudsen,” said Sutton. “Chilton has extraordinary gifts of leadership in diocese management and conflict resolution, as well as in issues of recovery. We’ll be blessed by her time with us.”

Knudsen, 69, retired in 2008 as bishop of Maine. Since then she has served as a missionary to Haiti and assistant bishop in the dioceses of Lexington, New York and Long Island.

Knudsen is co-author of the book, So You Think You Don’t Know One, Addiction and Recovery in Clergy and Congregations (Morehouse Publishing). She’s also co-author of the booklet, “Depending on the Grace of God, a Spiritual Journey through the Twelve Steps” (Forward Movement).

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