Saturday, March 10

Diocese of RI Announces Preliminary Slate for Bishop

The Search and Nomination Committee has selected five priests to stand for election as the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island. This preliminary slate consists of:

the Rev. Kurt Dunkle, 50, rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Orange Park, Florida (Diocese of Florida)

the Rev. Cathy George, 55, currently on a writing sabbatical; former priest-in-charge, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts (Diocese of Massachusetts)
the Very Rev. Nicholas Knisely, 51, dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona (Diocese of Arizona)

the Rev. Ledlie Laughlin, 52, rector, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Diocese of Pennsylvania)

the Rev. Jennifer Pedrick, 45, rector, Church of the Epiphany, Rumford, Rhode Island (Diocese of Rhode Island)

“The committee members spent 2½ days in discernment with these priests, and I am very excited about what each of them would bring to the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island,” said Lora MacFall, chair of the Search and Nomination Committee. “That weekend was the final step in a nine-month process that was centered in prayer, and respectful listening and conversation.”

That process began with the development of the diocesan profile (, which described the hopes and challenges of the diocese and outlined the strengths and skills the diocese is seeking in its next bishop.

More than 40 individuals responded to the profile by submitting applications that included answers to four essay questions and an autobiography. The committee interviewed 19 of the applicants by Skype (computer-based video technology) and then visited nine, all of whom then were invited to Rhode Island for the discernment weekend. Following that weekend, the committee agreed on this preliminary slate of five.

Beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday, March 11) and continuing through 5 p.m. on March 25, additional nominees may be added by petition. The transition blog/website ( includes complete information about the requirements for nominations by petition (including signatures from four clergy members who are canonically resident in the Diocese of Rhode Island and four lay people who are delegates to the electing convention in each of the six Rhode Island deaneries).

All the nominees will visit the diocese for a walkabout May 11 – 12, featuring an all-day public event on Saturday, May 12, at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, where they will make remarks and answer questions from lay and clergy attendees.

The 13th Bishop of Rhode Island will be elected at a special diocesan convention on Saturday, June 2, at St. Paul’s Church in Pawtucket. Because the election will occur close in time to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in July, church canons provide for the required consents to be sought from the bishops and deputies at General Convention. Subject to obtaining that consent, the bishop-elect will be consecrated at a ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 17, at St. George’s School in Middletown.

For more information, visit the transition blog/website (

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