|The Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr.|
September 3, 2009
Dear Friends in Christ,
On behalf on the Standing Committee, I am happy to inform you that we are recommending to Diocesan Convention that the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr., the Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, serve as Provisional Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
The committee, with input and guidance from Bishop Johnson, has spent much of this year discerning what form of leadership would be best for the diocese in the immediate future. We have determined that we need a Provisional Bishop with full ecclesiastical authority, and that Bishop Price is the person best suited for our needs.
With his 15-years experience as a bishop, especially as the interim ecclesiastical authority in Southern Ohio during 2006-2007, he knows what needs to be done for a diocese in transition. As a life-long neighbor, growing up and beginning his ministry in West Virginia, he is familiar with our history and culture. And, as the twice-elected Secretary of the House of Bishops, he is respected throughout the Episcopal Church.
During the past year in this diocese, we have come a long way in re-establishing trust among ourselves. The election of a Provisional Bishop is the next step we need to take. Even though it has worked sufficiently for us in our first year of rebuilding, we will be better served by moving beyond leadership by committee. It is time to ask one person to shoulder the responsibility for leading us for the next two years or so until we can choose a permanent, diocesan bishop. I trust Bishop Price to lead by his pastoral presence and administrative expertise, drawing on his experience as an interim bishop.
You will have opportunities before and at the diocesan convention to meet Bishop Price. We will announce each of those visits as are they are scheduled. Assuming he is elected by Convention on October 17, we have agreed that he will spend the majority of his time in Pittsburgh, while retaining a limited time and responsibility in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
Finally, I would be remiss not to thank Bishop Robert Johnson for extending his stay with us until convention. He has graced us with his care and support, and has been instrumental in helping us choose Ken Price as our nominee for Provisional Bishop.
We owe both men our gratitude and prayers.
The Rev. Dr. James Simons
President, Standing Committee
I would like to share with you my thoughts as I accept this nomination to be your Provisional Bishop. Please pardon this form of introduction. Soon, I hope we will have a chance to meet.
I am very impressed with the leadership of the Pittsburgh diocese and the resolve to rebuild. I understand that many people have come forward to help however they can. Being a part of that process would be both energizing and challenging.
I see myself as being part of your collaborative effort. I want everyone to feel that they have a role in rebuilding the diocese. I am not seeking to be Bishop of Pittsburgh. I’m coming to be the provisional bishop who brings you to a place where you can elect the person you want as diocesan bishop.
So, my job is not to create policy, but to work with you to lift up your vision of the church you want to be. My primary goal is to rebuild trust and to provide pastoral care for the people of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. And I hope to build on the good work that Bishop Bob Johnson has done in his time with you.
I often say that being a bishop is not only an honor but also one of the most satisfying vocations in the world. One never knows what each day will bring. Sometimes God has something in mind of which we might never dream.
The comfort side of me now says, "You fool. What are you doing? And there’s more snow in Pittsburgh!"
But I want to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit and recognize the hand of God around me. As my wife, Mariann, and I strike out on what I’m calling "this new adventure," I ask for your prayers. You will be in mine.
The Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr.
Bishop Suffragan, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio
Provisional Bishop Nominee, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh
I have known Bishop Price and his wife Mariann for 15 years as colleagues in our House of Bishops.
Julie and I used to be on the leadership team for new bishops and spouses. It was then we met Ken and Mariann. So, we got to know them well during Bishop Price’s transition from being a rector of a parish in West Virginia to being bishop suffragan of Southern Ohio.
+Ken is a fine Christian man and is one of our most highly respected bishops. He has a good heart and a sensitive pastoral touch. In addition, he’s a fine leader and administrator, with a contagious sense of humor.
He’s just the kind of bishop I believe our diocese should have as its next interim bishop.
The Rt. Rev. Robert H. Johnson
Assisting Bishop, Diocese of Pittsburgh