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UTAH: Scott B. Hayashi consecrated 11th bishop

[Episcopal News Service] The Nov. 7 formal seating of the Rt. Rev. Scott Byron Hayashi Episcopal Diocese of Utah's St. Mark's Cathedral in Salt Lake City concluded a weekend of joyous festivities that reflected the diocese's rich diversity and drew guests from around the world.

A day earlier, Hayashi, 56, was ordained and consecrated as the diocese's 11th bishop in a multilingual Ute, Spanish and English service before about 700 local, national and international, ecumenical, interfaith and other guests.

Northern Ute and Shoshone Native Americans blessed the gathering with sage and sweet grass incense, and offered a blessing of the four sacred directions. Local Sudanese and Latino Episcopalians also offered prayers and music at the service, held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. An 80-voice diocesan choir was accompanied by organ, brass and drum musical offerings.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was chief consecrator at the Nov. 6 service, which was webcast live.

Co-consecrating bishops included retiring Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish of Utah; Barry Beisner of Northern California; Allan Bjornberg, of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Mary Glasspool, suffragan of Los Angeles; and Victor Scantlebury, assisting in Chicago. Altogether there were 23 bishops present, according to Craig Wirth, diocesan communications director.

International guests included the Rt. Rev. David Than Lwin, bishop of Myitkiyna in the Anglican Church of Myanmar, and the Most Rev. Carlos Touché-Porter, presiding bishop of La Iglesia Anglicana de México and bishop of Mexico, both of whom enjoy companion relationships with the Utah diocese.

Representatives of the Methodist and Roman Catholic, Mormon, and Buddhist traditions were also in attendance.

"You've elected a bishop whose sense of humor will delight you. You will discover that this playfulness enfolds a heart of very serious purpose," Bishop Jeffrey Lee of Chicago said in his sermon, according to a report by the Salt Lake Tribune.

"His sheer competence will amaze you and an apparently endless supply of energy will dazzle you," said Lee. "He will pray with you at the drop of the hat."

During the ceremony, Irish passed the diocese's historic crozier to Hayashi, symbolizing the transfer of jurisdiction.

The next day, Hayashi used that crozier to knock on the door of St. Mark's Cathedral at the start of the regular 10:30 a.m. service, during which he was formally seated in the bishop's chair.

Hayashi was elected May 22 on the second ballot out of a field of three nominees and succeeds Irish, 70, who was elected in 1996 and a year ago announced her decision to retire.

He had served as canon to the ordinary in the Chicago diocese since 2005, but is no stranger to Utah, where he was called in 1989 to be rector of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden, an inner-city parish where he served until 1998.

During nearly 25 years of ordained ministry Hayashi has served inner-city, suburban and rural congregations in California, Utah and Washington.

After his 1984 ordination to the diaconate in June and priesthood in October, he served for five years as vicar to two small rural mission congregations -- St. John the Baptist Episcopal Mission in Ephrata and St. Dunstan's Episcopal Mission in Grand Coulee -- in the Diocese of Spokane in Washington state.

Hayashi next became rector of Christ Church in the Episcopal Diocese of California, where he served until called to the Diocese of Chicago.

He was born Dec. 8, 1953, in Tacoma, Washington, and received a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. He holds a master of divinity degree from Harvard University's Divinity School and a certificate of theology from Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California.

A General Convention deputy, he has served at local, diocesan and national church levels, as well as on local boards of agencies.

He has also served nationally as a member of the Episcopal Church's Board for Transitions Ministry, and as a conference leader and team leader for CREDO, a Church Pension Fund clergy wellness resource, for 10 years.

During the search process, he described the Episcopal Church as "a people who live in the grace of God."

Hayashi and Amy Perlman O'Donnell have been married 29 years. They have three adult daughters.

The Diocese of Utah includes 25 congregations and about 5,000 Episcopalians. It covers Page, Arizona, and most of Utah, except for part of southeastern Utah that is included in the Diocese of Navajoland.

-- The Rev. Pat McCaughan is a national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service. She is based in Los Angeles.


Copyright © 2011 Episcopal News Service