The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York announced Aug. 16 a slate of four nominees for the diocese's 11th bishop. They are:
• the Rev. Michael N. Ambler Jr., 46, rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Bath, in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine;
• the Very Rev. Canon Michael A. Bamberger, 55, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre, California, in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles;
• the Rev. R. William Franklin, 63, senior associate priest at St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia, in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; and
• the Very Rev. Canon Barbara J. Price, 60, rector of St. Peter's Church in Eggertsville, New York, in the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York.
More biographical information about the nominees is available here.
The election will be held Nov. 20 at St. Paul's Cathedral in Buffalo during a special convention of the diocese.
According to a statement issued by Catherine Way, chair of the bishop search committee, the 18-month search process involved 29 candidates from across the United States, as well as two foreign countries.
"The committee believes that any one of the four nominees can serve capably and admirably as our next bishop," Way wrote in her statement.
Bishop Michael Garrison, who was consecrated 10th bishop of the diocese in 1999, will retire in April 2011.
Diocesan clergy and laity may nominate additional candidates by petition until August 30, according to the Rev. Glenn Fuller, president of the diocesan Standing Committee. More information about the petition process is available here.
Under the canons (III.11.4) of the Episcopal Church, a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election. The consecration date is planned for April 30, 2011.
The Diocese of Western New York encompasses the counties of Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming and includes 60 congregations.