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Alaska diocese elects Mark Andrew Lattime as eighth bishop

[Episcopal News Service] The Very Rev. Mark Lattime was elected April 10 as the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Alaska, pending the required consents from a majority of the church's diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction.

Lattime, 43, rector of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Geneseo in the Diocese of Rochester (New York), was elected on the fourth ballot. He received 42 votes of 70 cast in the lay order and 14 of 25 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 36 in the lay order and 14 in the clergy order.

The electing convention was held at the Meier Lake Conference Center in Wasilla, Alaska. Lattime will succeed Bishop Mark MacDonald, who left in 2007 to become the first indigenous bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Rt. Rev. Rustin Kimsey has served as interim bishop for three years.

Before being called to St. Michael's in 2000, Lattime was college chaplain at Canterbury Fellowship and associate rector at the R.E. Lee. Memorial Church in Lexington, Diocese of Southwest Virginia.

Lattime is a three-time deputy to General Convention (2003, 2006 and 2009) from Rochester, where he also served in numerous diocesan capacities including: diocesan council, standing committee, as a dean of the southwest district and a stewardship consultant.

His community involvements include serving as a board member for the Wadsworth Public Library and as a volunteer ambulance driver for the Geneseo Fire Department.

A certified private pilot, he is a 1988 graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and earned a master of divinity degree from Bexley Hall in 1997.

According to his election profile, Lattime said serving as bishop of Alaska will require being "willing to engage the journey of faith as well as the journey of vast distances to be with Alaska's people of faith to support and nurture their evangelistic witness.

"I believe there to be nothing more attractive, more magnetic, than a church of individuals, alive and energized by their faith, who are willing to reach out and speak out to share that faith with others."

Under the canons of the Episcopal Church (III.11.4), a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect's ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election.

The consecration and ordination is scheduled for Sept. 4 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Anchorage. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be the chief consecrator.

Other candidates were:

  • The Rev. Canon Ginny Doctor, 60, canon to the ordinary for the Diocese of Alaska and assisting vicar, St. James' Mission, Tanana;
  • The Rev. Dr. Greg Kimura, 41, president and chief executive officer of the Alaska Humanities Forum, and a supply priest for the Diocese of Alaska and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Alaska;
  • The Very Rev. Timothy Sexton, 61, canon administrator of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Honolulu in the Diocese of Hawaii; and
  • The Rev. Suzanne Watson, 48, Christ and Holy Trinity Church, Westport, in the Diocese of Connecticut, according to the diocesan website.

Information about all the nominees is available here.

The Diocese of Alaska includes 50 Episcopal congregations, from tiny subsistence villages to major metropolitan centers. The diocese encompasses the entire state.

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