The Rev. Canon Andrew Dietsche Elected
November 19, 2011
At a little after 4 p.m. this afternoon, at a special election convention held at Manhattan’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the Rev. Canon Andrew M.L. Dietsche was declared the bishop coadjutor-elect of the Episcopal Diocese of New York – a position that gives him automatic right of succession to the current Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, when he retires.
Dietsche, a Poughkeepsie, NY resident who is currently on the diocesan staff as Canon for Pastoral Care, was elected on the third round of balloting by a majority of the active clergy (176 of a total 262) of the diocese and of delegates from all of its congregations (131 out of a 233). A brief biography of the bishop elect may be found here.
Canon Dietsche was one of two candidates nominated “from the floor” in addition to the five who were put forward at the end of August by a special Committee to Elect a Bishop, which began work following Bishop Sisk’s call for an election at the diocese’s 2010 annual convention last November.
The bishop coadjutor-elect must now receive the consent of a majority both of bishops of the Episcopal Church “with jurisdiction” and of the standing committees of the Church’s dioceses, before being consecrated in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Saturday, March 10, 2012. He will then work alongside Bishop Sisk with, in Bishop Sisk’s words, “responsibility for all those who enter the ordination process, as well as the search process for all congregations who begin their search for new clerical leadership, as of the date when the bishop coadjutor elect assumes his or her duties. Over time,” Bishop Sisk continued, “and following consultation with the bishop coadjutor, additional duties and areas of jurisdiction will be assigned,” Dietsche will become the new Diocesan Bishop on Bishop Sisk’s retirement, which must take place on or before his 72nd birthday in August 2014.
Canon Dietsche issued the following statement on the announcement of his election:
” I am deeply honored and humbled by my election today as Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of New York, a diocese I have long ago come to know and love so deeply as Canon for Pastoral Care. I look forward to continuing to serve this community in the years to come in this new role to which I have been called. It has also been a particular pleasure to come to know the other candidates in this election, and I have been blessed to be included in their company. It is a poignant and powerful thing to find that one is the bearer of the hopes of others, and each of us who accepted nomination for this election has had that learning, been lifted up by the love and prayers of many, and felt the weight of that responsibility. I am thankful for each of the candidates with whom I made this journey, and for the faith, courage and grace with which they have adorned our diocese and our election. May God continue to shower them with every blessing.
“I believe that it is especially a privilege to be the church in uncertain times. It is the greatest gift to face challenges which surpass our ability and understanding, for it is only then that we learn what it really means to trust God. We are in a season in which so much of our common life, the life and health of so many churches, and the resources on which our ministries and our mission have depended, can no longer be taken for granted. The particular challenges with which we will contend in this next chapter of our life will test us, but I am certain that, God being our helper, we will prevail over fear and doubt and by the witness of a courageous faith give glory to God. I thank the clergy and people of New York for inviting me to lead them into that wonderful future, and I ask God’s blessing on this, our great Diocese of New York.”
Canon Dietsche addressing the convention after his election.