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Candidates announced for Episcopal Church Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries

February 9, 2010
Office of Public Affairs
Six candidates for The Episcopal Church Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries have been announced.

Pending successful completion of background checks, the nominees are:

The Rev. Carl Andrews, Colonel, USAF, Lackland AFB, TX .

The Rev. Dr. James “Jay” Magness, Cannon for Mission and Diocesan Administration, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.

The Rev. Babs Meairs, Field Coordinator, Office of the Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries (Chaplaincies).

The Rev. C. Christopher Thompson, rector, Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church, Virginia Beach, VA

The Rev. John Weatherly, JFHQ-VA Chaplain, rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Alexandria, VA.

The Rev. Carl W. Wright, LTC, USAF, Chaplain Air Force Global Strike Command, Barksdale AFB, LA

Nominees by petition will be accepted February 8 to 12.

The election of the Sixth Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries will be held at the March House of Bishops meeting in Camp Allen, Texas. Pending successful completion of the consent process, consecration will occur June 19 at National Cathedral in Washington, DC with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori celebrating.

Bishop Suffragan

The position of Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries, formally known in the Constitution of The Episcopal Church as the Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces, includes not only the pastoral care and oversight for armed forces chaplains, military personnel and families, and but also oversight of federal hospitals, prisons, and correctional facilities, as well as the Eucharist communities related to military installations.

The current Bishop Suffragan, the Rt. Rev. George Packard, is retiring.

Nominating Committee

A nominating, or discernment, reviewed the names who were submitted, and presented the list of candidates. The committee was comprised of world-wide representatives of clergy and laity from chaplaincies in military branches and hospitals as well as Eucharist communities.

Serving on the nominating committee were: Charlotte Greeson (Navy), Alice J. Harshey-Bischoff (Air Force Reserve) [Chair], Linda Leibhart (Army Reserve), Thomas Rardin (Veterans Administration Chaplain), Sarah Shirley (Air National Guard chaplain), Mary Staley (U.S. Air Force Retired), Edward Thielen (Army, Retired), Elizabeth Walker (Federal Prison chaplain), Christine Waweru (Army Chaplian)

Special Committee

The special committee functions just as a standing committee would function within a Diocesan process. Appointed by Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, the special committee is comprised of bishops: Bishop Nathan Baxter of Central Pennsylvania, chair; Bishop Suffragan Laura Ahrens of Connecticut; Bishop David Alvarez of Puerto Rico; Bishop John Chane of Washington (DC); Bishop Suffragan Rayford High of Texas; Bishop Barry Howe of West Missouri; and Bishop Greg Rickel of Olympia. Consultant is the Rev. Conrad Selnick of the Diocese of Ohio.

For more info contact Baxter at or Bishop Clay Matthews at

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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