- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 9, 2002

Six candidates to be the new Episcopal bishop of Washington begin a series of appearances around the diocese tonight. The diocese has selected a diverse slate of candidates: three married white male clerics and one black, one female and one homosexual priest.

The election for the eighth bishop of Washington will be held over a two-day period during the annual diocesan convention. The first ballot, to be cast by 425 clergy and lay delegates, is set for the evening of Jan. 24 at the National Cathedral. If no one wins a majority, succeeding ballots will be cast the following day.

The candidates will appear at 7 p.m. tonight at the St. Mary's College Fine Arts Center in St. Mary's City; at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Columba's Church in Northwest; 7 p.m. Friday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Takoma Park; and 7 p.m. Saturday at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Temple Hills.

Five of the six candidates have been deans of cathedrals or rectors (senior pastors) of large Episcopal churches. Only one is a native son: the Rev. Mark Anschutz, 57, rector of St. Michael and All Angels Church in Dallas, a 6,700-member church said to be the second-largest Episcopal parish in the country. Mr. Anschutz grew up in the District.

"I know every alley in Northwest Washington," he says. "Although I've lived in New York and Dallas, I remain an avid Redskins fan. If there's a selfish motive for returning to Washington, that might be it."

The son and grandson of Episcopal priests, he may be the best known locally of the candidates, as he was rector of Christ Episcopal Church across the river in Alexandria from 1978 to 1992. A daughter, Maryetta, 26, was recently ordained a deacon at Christ Church.

The lone female candidate, the Rev. Helen Moore, 59, has spent much of her career as pastor of Ohio and Massachusetts parishes, raising five children and working as a psychotherapist. She also specializes in spiritual direction.

"We are living in a September 12 world," she writes in remarks posted on the diocesan Web site (www.edow.org), "awakened by our primal need for connection and interdependence and God. The Church must paint alternative landscapes, repair breaches and seek a seat at the table of peace."

Recently, she completed a term as interim dean at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. James in Chicago.

The Very Rev. Allen W. Farabee, 54, dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in Buffalo, grew up in Florida as a Methodist, and, in addition to his years of study for the priesthood, managed to fit in a law degree from the University of Connecticut. He also studied Islamic law at Hartford Seminary and has a lifelong love of music, particularly opera and jazz.

In 1997, he donated one of his kidneys to his sister, Ruth.

"I draw strength from my friends and companions among all those marked as Christ's own forever," he said in remarks posted on the Web site. "I am blessed by the people in my life who maintain the fabric of the world. I am a sometimes slightly skeptical, questioning believer who embraces the whole story of God's creation and forgiveness, fully at home in the dialectic of Anglicanism."

A fourth candidate, the Rev. Lloyd Prator, 57, heads the 120-member St. John's Episcopal Church in New York and teaches liturgy at the nearby General Theological Seminary. He previously oversaw a parish in San Francisco and worked on the staff of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

He is the only candidate to criticize the diocese for its handling of several parishes that oppose women's ordination. Starting in 1996, Suffragan Bishop Jane Dixon conducted a series of forced visitations to conservative parishes and last year filed suit against an Acokeek church that hired a rector whom she disliked for his traditional views.

"I am concerned," Mr. Prator wrote on the Web site, "about the way in which the Church everywhere, not just in Washington, has responded to dissent. While I am committed to good order in the Church, it is also important to ensure that congregations who have a different view of the Church's mission and strategy are heard."

The diocese requires all its candidates to advocate homosexual ordination, and Mr. Prator did not hide his orientation.

"I am single; my partner died many years ago," he wrote. "He was a faithful churchman and warden of his own parish. The witness of his faith and the seriousness of his spirituality were gifts to my own growth in faith and practice. While I was rector of All Saints' Church in San Francisco, he was a great support to me in my ministry."

The Rev. Harold T. Lewis, 54, the only black priest on the slate, has family roots in Barbados. Early in his priesthood, he spent 10 years in the District as pastor of St. Monica's Chapel on Capitol Hill, a mission church that became self-supporting in three years under his leadership.

He also spent several years at church headquarters in New York, where he headed up the Office of Black Ministries. In 1996, he became rector of Calvary Church, a liberal parish with 1,600 members in the Pittsburgh suburb of Shadyside.

He has openly disagreed with the more conservative Pittsburgh Episcopal Bishop Robert Duncan over same-sex unions, and a year ago he threatened the diocese with a financial boycott because it backs two Rwandan prelates who have been ordaining conservative American priests as bishops.

"I felt these guys [from Rwanda] had stepped outside the bounds of good Anglican practice," Mr. Lewis says.

"The Episcopal Church has been described as a 'non-prophet organization' too often given to the mouthing of pious platitudes, too often afraid to challenge its members to live out their baptismal covenant to the fullest. I have endeavored, throughout my ministry, to push the envelope."

He insists he is not antagonistic to conservatives and that he has regular lunch dates with people from opposing theological viewpoints. Recently, the Lilly Endowment awarded Mr. Lewis a $29,500 grant to study Anglicanism in South Africa during the summer of 2003. If elected bishop, Mr. Lewis says he would forgo the scholarship.

The sixth candidate, the Very Rev. John Chane, 57, is dean of the 1,500-member St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego and president of the San Diego Ecumenical Council, a group of 240 congregations.

Although his diocese is conservative, Mr. Chane and his wife, Karen, are members of the Episcopal homosexual caucus Integrity and march each year in San Diego's homosexual-pride parade. He crossed swords with his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Gethin B. Hughes, when he invited retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong to speak at the cathedral. Bishop Spong has denied major Christian beliefs, such as the Resurrection and the Virgin Birth.

"Theology is in a state of flux," Mr. Chane says. "What to me does not change is the core teachings of Jesus on how we ought to deal with one another; with inclusiveness and extravagant love and open dialogue and conversation."

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