FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 31, 2009
CHURCH AT ITS BEST ELECTS NEW BISHOP, INTEGRITY APPLAUDS PROCESS WHICH INCLUDED AN OPENLY GAY PARTNERED CANDIDATE
Today, the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota have ended a very complex discernment process and chosen the Reverend Brian Prior as their IX Bishop. Integrity rejoices with the Diocese of Minnesota at the election of an able pastor and joins with the whole Church in praying for continued joy in mission and ministry for this trailblazing diocese.
“What we have seen in the Diocese of Minnesota during these weeks and months of discernment is our church at its best,” said the Reverend David Norgard, President of Integrity. “By including an openly gay, partnered candidate, they have led the Episcopal Church to one step closer to reaching the reality of 'all the baptized in all the sacraments' in the Episcopal Church – not just a resolution of General Convention. We owe them our thanks and gratitude for their visionary leadership.”
Integrity looks forward to the day when the inclusion of qualified LGBT candidates for the episcopate will be the norm whenever slates for the election of a new bishop are presented to diocesan conventions. We are grateful for the legislative progress made at our last General Convention that opens the way for each and every diocese to choose from all the qualified candidates the best bishop for as the chief pastor for their diocese – regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin or gender identity.
When asked about ministry with the marginalized, including the LGBT community, bishop-elect Prior once said, "The amount of work and witness still needed to combat the lack of respect for the dignity of every human being is unquestionably clear." He added, "I have worked to challenge systems that at best marginalize, and at worst outright exclude others based on race, gender, sexual orientation or age. The foundational question that I always ask those I serve with is this: who is not, and why are they not, at the table."
Norgard concluded, "We look forward to working with bishop-elect Prior as we continue to work together toward the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments as we live out our baptismal covenant commitment to respect the dignity of every human being."
The Reverend David Norgard, President
For further information contact:
Louise Brooks, Communication Director
Integrity USA -- 626.993.4605