Skip to comments.Episcopalians select Minnesota bishop to serve Upstate diocese (SC)
Posted on 12/13/2009 5:34:23 AM PST by markomalley
A Minnesota bishop with Deep South roots was elected Saturday the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.
The Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, pastor of Trinity Episcopal Church in Excelsior, Minn., emerged as the winner on the third ballot, defeating five other candidates. Among the six vying for the post were three South Carolinians, including the dean of Columbia's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, the Very Rev. Philip C. Linder.
"I'm so happy to be returning to the South, and coming to South Carolina," Waldo said by telephone from his Shorewood, Minn., home. He said his first task will be to learn about the diocese in all its joys and struggles.
More than 350 clergy and lay delegates, guided by retiring Bishop Dorsey F. Henderson Jr., spent the day in worship, prayer and reflection as they approached the work of selecting a new leader to preside over the 28,000-member district that encompasses 64 congregations in 22 counties in the Midlands and Upstate.
"Our task in this body is to discern 'call,'" Henderson told delegates as they gathered for a morning Eucharistic worship service. "Which of these priests are called to be the bishop of this diocese?"
That was not made clear on the first ballot, which was declared invalid because one vote among the 232 lay votes cast was not properly certified.
As they worked, The Rt. Rev. Charles F. Duvall, a former bishop of the church and chaplain for the convention, urged delegates to be mindful of this central expectation, that "the name Jesus needs to be on the lips of the person we select."
Waldo, who is viewed as a moderate on the most controversial issue facing Episcopalians, the blessing of same-sex gender relationships, was the clear favorite among lay people.
Waldo steadily gained strength in the second and final ballots, emerging with 64 clergy votes and 129 lay votes.
The Rev. Mike Flanagan, pastor of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Simpsonville, said he was struck by Waldo's sincerity "and his willingness to get to know the diocese" before he embarks on his own plans as bishop.
During interviews in November, "he was very comfortable with himself," he said.
John Grindley, a member of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Chapin, wouldn't reveal his choice but said he "was consistent in my vote."
Besides, Waldo and Linder, the other candidates included the Rev. David F.O. Thompson, rector of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in North Augusta; the Very Rev. John B. Burwell, rector of Church of the Holy Cross in Sullivan's Island; The Rev. Canon Dr. Neal O. Michell, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Diocese of Dallas, Texas, and the Rev. Jerre Stockton Williams Jr., rector of St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Kerrville, Texas.
Upstate SC has changed a lot in recent years, since so many folks from the NE have moved down there.
Pity they couldn't have picked Burwell.