Diocese of Olympia announces slate of four nominees for next bishop

Posted Feb 29, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] The Joint Board for Bishop Transition in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia announced Feb. 29 that, after receiving the recommendations of the Bishop Search Committee, it had approved a preliminary slate of four nominees for the ninth bishop of the diocese, which includes the western half of Washington.

Listed alphabetically by last name, the nominees are;

  • The Rev. Phil LaBelle, rector of St. Mark’s Church in Southborough, Massachusetts;
  • The Rev. Hillary D. Raining, rector of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania;
  • The Ven. Jordan Haynie Ware, archdeacon for justice in the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, Canada, and rector of Good Shepherd Anglican Church;
  • The Rev. Kate E. Wesch, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, Connecticut.

Full information about each of the nominees can be found at the diocese’s bishop search website.

A 10-day petition period begins, effective Feb. 29, during which anyone who meets the canonical requirements may petition to be added to the slate of nominees. The deadline to submit nomination materials is March 10.

An electing convention is scheduled for May 18 at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, and the bishop-elect will be consecrated, pending a successful churchwide consent process, on Sept. 14.

The new bishop diocesan will succeed former Olympia Bishop Greg Rickel, who announced in July 2022 his plan to retire after leading the Seattle, Washington-based Diocese of Olympia for 15 years. In October 2022, the standing committee called the Most Rev. Melissa Skelton, from the Anglican Church of Canada, to serve as bishop provisional of Olympia while the diocese conducts its search for Rickel’s successor.