In March, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision to suspend large in-person gatherings, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry announced the rescheduling of ordinations and consecrations of bishops previously scheduled for April. Today, Curry announced his appointment of the chief consecrators for Ordinations and Consecrations of Bishops in the Episcopal Dioceses of Georgia, Minnesota, and Oklahoma:
The Right Rev. Scott Benhase, vice president of Province IV, will serve as chief consecrator at the ordination and consecration of The Rev. Canon Frank Logue as the 11th Bishop of Georgia on May 30, 2020.
The Right Rev. Larry Benfield, president of Province VII, will serve as chief consecrator at the ordination and consecration of The Rev. Poulson Reed as the Bishop Coadjutor of Oklahoma on May 30, 2020.
The Right Rev. Brian Prior, president of Province VI, will serve as chief consecrator at the ordination and consecration of The Very Rev. Craig Loya as the 10th Bishop of Minnesota on June 6, 2020.
In making this announcement, Curry said, “In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are now at one of those threshold moments when important and significant decisions must be made on all levels of our global community for the good and the well-being of the entire human family. Federal, state, and local authorities continue to issue new guidelines on travel and in-person gatherings. I ask your prayers for the Church, our suffering world, and all dioceses awaiting consecration of their next bishop.”
In making plans for the upcoming ordination and consecration of their new bishop, each diocese is following certain principles to balance concerns for participation and public health. These plans envision consecrations that:
- can be relocated to smaller venues, preferably church settings that nevertheless provide adequate space for appropriate physical distancing of participants and attendees;
- minimize in-person attendance and utilize live-streaming technology;
- limit, with flexibility, the number of co-consecrating bishops and presenters, yet still satisfy canonical requirements;
- forego social events; and,
- re-imagine media briefings and clergy gatherings as virtual interactions with the Presiding Bishop.
Announcement of the chief consecrators for the ordination and consecration of bishops in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri, scheduled for June 13, 2020 and the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama on June 27th will be announced at a later date.