Report from the Albany Bishop Candidates Tour

Monday evening, August 14, the first of five sessions to hear directly from the prospective bishop nominees was held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Albany.  The four candidates replied to both questions submitted ahead of time and questions from the floor.  The house was packed, so much so that screens were set up in other rooms so the session could be live-streamed to everyone.  Prior to the session, there was ample opportunity to speak to each candidate individually and informally.

St. Andrew’s was well-represented with a large delegation, possibly even the largest!  It was gratifying to witness the commitment of our parishioners.

One of the first questions – “tell us about your call to the priesthood” – had been posed by a member of St. Andrew’s at the meeting held to hear what we wanted to know.  Each response was different and in its own way inspiring.  Three of the four candidates are “cradle” Episcopalian and one (Fr. Longe) was in a Catholic seminary prior to becoming an Episcopalian.  Each spoke about it as a “call”, about a knowing that this is what God wanted for them.

A question important to many of us – “will you officiate at a same sex marriage?” – was posted by a member of St. Andrew’s.  Only one of the candidates responded “no” – Fr. Scott Garno.  All spoke about the need to truly hear both sides, to love each person regardless of their belief and to work toward a place where we can all live together.

Other questions covered such topics as how they would help the Diocese heal; be proactive about reconnecting with The Episcopal Church at the national level; how to help failing parishes; approaches & ideas for bringing in families and children.

My impression was that each candidate, in his own way, was coming into this as a servant of our Lord.  It was clear to me that their mission was to bring the message of the Gospel, to love God and to love one another as Jesus loves us.

A few memorable phrases

  • Our differences aren’t battle lines.
  • Tolerance is not a virtue.
  • Start and end with humility.
  • We are image bearers of God.
  • There is a spiritual hunger in this diocese.
  • The Episcopal Church is ready to welcome the Diocese of Albany.
  • True Anglicanism is a “big Tent” where “both/and” live in harmony for the sake of loving each other and loving God.


Please go to the Diocese of Albany website for more information regarding the Bishop search and election process.

You can join most of the events through a live stream on the Diocese of Albany YouTube channel. Most events will also be recorded and uploaded to the Diocese of Albany YouTube channel after processing.

Congregations and individuals are asked to pray daily, asking God to meet the needs of, and to grant spiritual gifts and grace to candidates and their families, the clergy and deputies who will vote, and the officers and leadership of our diocese.