NEWARK: Mark Beckwith ordained and consecrated as 10th bishop

January 28, 2007

Mark M. Beckwith was ordained and consecrated on the Feast of St. Chrysostom, January 27, as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark.

Beckwith, 55, rector of All Saints Church in Worcester, Massachusetts (Diocese of Western Massachusetts), was elected September 23 out of an initial field of six nominees on the third ballot.

He served in Newark earlier in his priestly life. He was associate rector at St. Peter's Church, Morristown, from 1982-1985, and rector of Christ Church, Hackensack, from 1985-1993.

Beckwith succeeds John Palmer Croneberger, 68, who has retired. Croneberger became bishop coadjutor November 21, 1998 and succeeded Bishop John Shelby Spong in January 2000.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the presider, preacher and chief consecrator at the service, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in downtown Newark, a half block from the diocese's office building and across the street from Trinity and St. Philip's Cathedral. More than 2,500 persons attended the ordination and consecration, the second in Jefferts Schori's ministry as presiding bishop.

Co-consecrators were Assistant Bishop Robert Anderson of Los Angeles; Croneberger; Assistant Bishop Carol Joy Gallagher of Newark; Suffragan Bishop Gayle Harris of Massachusetts; Bishop Gordon Scruton of Western Massachusetts; and Spong.

Also participating in the laying on of hands were bishops Charles Bennison of Pennsylvania; George Councell of New Jersey; J. Michael Garrison of Western New York; Mark Hollingsworth of Ohio; Robert Ilhoff of Maryland; Julio Murray of Panama; Richard Schimpfky, bishop-in-residence at St. George's Episcopal Church in Flushing, New York and former diocesan of El Camino Real; and Mark Sisk of New York.

The Rev. E. Roy Riley, bishop of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), participated in the laying on of hands.

Other ecumenical guests included: the Rev. Jennifer Sweitzer and the Rev. Robert Kriesat of the ELCA New Jersey Synod; the Rev. Luke Edelen and the Rev. Phil Latronico of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark; the Rev. Charles Parr of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson; the Rev. Joseph Wallace of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton; and the Rev. Rett Zabrikie and the Rev. Richard VanderBough of the Reformed Church in American. The New Jersey Bergen County Council of Churches was represented by the Rev. Gregory Jackson of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Hackensack, Sheikh Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, and Imam Saeed Qureshi of Darul-Islah Mosque in Teaneck.

During Beckwith's tenure at All Saints, the congregation has been nationally recognized for its neighborhood ministry. He is a 1973 graduate of Amherst College, and a 1978 graduate of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1979 and 1980 by Bishop Morgan Porteus, then-diocesan bishop of Connecticut.

More biographical information is available here.

The Diocese of Newark comprises about 34,600 Episcopalians worshipping in 117 congregations.

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