Bishop John Harvey Taylor of Los Angeles, second from right, and other bishops walk to Christ Church Cathedral, Louisville, Kentucky for the election of the 28th presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church.

The June 26 election of the Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe as presiding bishop drew approving comments from members of the Los Angeles deputation to General Convention.

Rowe was elected on the first ballot from a slate of five candidates, four of whom – Rowe, bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania and bishop provisional of the Diocese of Western New York; Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta; Bishop Daniel G.P. Gutiérrez of Pennsylvania; and Bishop J. Scott Barker of Central Nebraska – were nominated by the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop, co-chaired by Canon Steven Nishibayashi, secretary of convention for the Diocese of Los Angeles. The fifth candidate, Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe, was nominated later by petition.

L.A. Deputies Thomas Diaz of All Saints Church, Pasadena, and the Rev. Antonia Gallardo, rector of St. Luke’s Church, Long Beach, also served on the nominating committee.

Christ Church Cathedral, Louisville, Kentucky, hosted the House of Bishops for the June 26 election.

Rowe will succeed the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry as presiding bishop. His term will begin on Nov. 1, 2024.

After he was elected by the House of Bishops and confirmed by the House of Deputies, Rowe addressed the combined houses. He acknowledged some of the challenges facing The Episcopal Church, saying that it was time for the church to examine its structures and make sure its polity helped, rather than hindered its work in the world.

Bishop John Harvey Taylor approved Rowe’s vision. “As we could hear from his moving address to the church this afternoon, Presiding Bishop-elect Rowe is a great choice for our church,” Taylor told The Episcopal News. “He knows its structures and its suffering; he leavens his skills at adaptive reform and consolidation with a palpable optimism about the future of the church he and we love so much and which our changing culture needs so much.

“We had five outstanding candidates,” Taylor added. “Each would have excelled. And yet we can say that the Holy Spirit did her magnificent work today. It was a privilege to be part of the solemn, joyful process. I especially give thanks for all that Canon Steve, Antonio, and Thomas did to bring this historic moment about as members of the search committee.”

“I’m so excited,” five-time Deputy Kathryn Nishibayashi, a member of St. Mary’s Church (Mariposa), Los Angeles, wrote on Facebook. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bishop Rowe in a couple ways the past couple years and I can’t wait to see where he leads the church in the next 9 years.”

Bishops Brian Prior and Sean Rowe wait in the convention center with other members of the House of Bishops before walking to Christ Church Cathedral for the election.

“A friend comments that Presiding Bishop-elect Rowe was her camp counselor; now he can be the counselor the larger church needs to restructure ourselves for the needs of the future church,” said two-time Deputy Canon Andy Tomat, treasurer of the Diocese of Los Angeles. “Given how quickly the bishops made their selection, it was clear the search committee discerned wisely.”

“I am delighted with the choice of Bishop Rowe,” said the Rev. Canon Kelli Grace Kurtz, a two-time deputy. I believe he is the right person for the time we are living into. He has the skills, expressed faith, and energy needed to guide the Episcopal Church forward.” She also expressed appreciation for the work of the joint nominating committee, especially its Los Angeles-based members.

“I am very inspired by the newly elected presiding bishop’s words regarding turning our focus to our dioceses and parishes, where the work in the Lord’s vineyard is truly done,” said the Rev. Dominique Piper, deacon at Church of the Blessed Sacrament, Placentia, and a first-time deputy. “I am looking forward to the future and I am very excited about what the Lord has in store for us and our church.”

“I think our new presiding bishop-elect has a clear vision and innovative ideas on the necessity of change for our church to thrive,” commented the Rev. Guy Leemhuis, vicar of St. Luke’s of the Mountains Church, La Crescenta. “I am hopeful as he focuses on diocesan and local ministry work that we ensure dioceses prioritize resources in a way to grow our church and transform it into a diverse church reflective of different races, genders, languages, sexual orientation and economic status.” He said he hoped Rowe will be able to build on the solid foundation laid by Curry.

Installation of the new presiding bishop is scheduled at Washington National Cathedral on Nov. 1,  2024. More about Rowe and the election is here.

Representing the Diocese of Los Angeles at General Convention are, from left, Bishop John Harvey Taylor, Guy Leemhuis, Fannie Chang, Rachel Nyback, Canon Kelli Grace Kurtz, Canon Andy Tomat, Cameron Johnson, Alan Herendich, Dominique Piper, Thomas Diaz, and Kathryn Nishibayashi.