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OKLAHOMA: Edward Konieczny becomes fifth bishop

[Episcopal News Service] Edward J. Konieczny was ordained and consecrated on September 15 as the fifth diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma.

Konieczny, 52, was the rector of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Grand Junction, Colorado, when he was elected May 2 on the first ballot from a slate of six candidates. He was elected with 112 lay votes and 62 clergy votes. An election on that ballot required 100 votes of 198 cast in the lay order and 61 of 120 votes cast in the clergy order.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the chief consecrator during the liturgy which was attended by about 3,000 people at the Freede Wellness and Activity Center on the campus of Oklahoma City University.

Co-consecrators were bishops Edward S. Little II of Northern Indiana; Robert M. Moody, the retiring bishop of Oklahoma; and Robert J. O'Neill of Colorado, who also preached.

During his sermon, O'Neill said he and other Colorado Episcopalians were proud of Konieczny, who he described as hard-working and committed. He said underneath Konieczny's "tough ex-cop exterior" is a gentle spirit, who possesses a deep love of God.

The Rev. Robert Hayes Jr., bishop of the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference and the Rev. Thomas R. Jewell, regional pastor of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma attended the liturgy.

Konieczny will succeed Robert Moody, 67, who was elected in 1987 and has been Oklahoma's bishop since 1989.

The new bishop was installed at St. Paul's Cathedral in Oklahoma City on September 16.

The Diocese of Oklahoma comprises about 17,700 Episcopalians worshipping in 69 congregations.

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