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5 Nominees for Episcopal Bishop Post Announced

October 28, 1987|JOHN DART | Times Religion Writer

Five nominees were announced Tuesday for bishop of the six-county Los Angeles Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

None of the candidates is from Southern California, although one is the dean of San Francisco's Grace Cathedral and a second taught for nine years at a Berkeley seminary.

The candidates, for an election to be held in January, are:

- The Very Rev. Frederick H. Borsch, 52, dean of the chapel at Princeton University.

- The Rev. Canon Lloyd Stuart Casson, 52, an associate dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.

- The Rev. Alan W. Jones, 47, dean of Grace Cathedral.

- The Rev. Thomas F. Pike, 49, rector of the parish of Calvary, Holy Communion and St. George, New York City.

- The Rev. James A. Trimble, 56, rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia.

The Episcopal diocese embraces 80,000 parishioners in 147 churches in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and a small part of Riverside County.

The diocese's last bishop, Robert C. Rusack, died July 16, 1986, after 12 years in office. Since then, Suffragan (assistant) Bishop Oliver B. Garver Jr. has acted as interim bishop. Garver indicated that he was not interested in being nominated to succeed Rusack.

The candidates were selected by a nominating committee that met for two days at a Sierra Madre retreat house. Although no nominee is from Southern California, church officials said it is common for candidates to be considered on a national basis.

Jones, who has been at the San Francisco cathedral for two years, was born and educated in Great Britain and has served in New York parishes.

Headed Seminary

Borsch, dean of the Princeton chapel for seven years, has taught New Testament in seminaries for most of his ministry. From 1972 to 1981, he served as professor, dean and president at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley.

If elected, Casson would be the first black Episcopal bishop in Los Angeles. He served from 1976 until 1985 on the staff of the Washington Cathedral, also known as the National Cathedral, in the nation's capital before being named "sub-dean" of the large St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York. He has also been active in diocesan affairs and in the Union of Black Episcopalians, a national group.

Pike and Trimble have served mainly in parish positions.

Election of the new bishop will be held at a special convention Jan. 8-9 at St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Other nominations may also be made from the floor of the convention.

St. Vincent, which seats 1,200, was chosen because it is larger than any Episcopal church in the area. The Episcopal diocese was invited to use the facility in an ecumenical gesture by the pastor and Roman Catholic Archbishop Roger Mahony, church officials said.

Vote Separately

Balloting for an Episcopal bishop is done separately by clergy and lay delegates, and the bishop-elect must receive a majority from both houses.

The election then must be ratified by a majority of the standing committees of the other 105 U.S. dioceses of the 2.7-million-member denomination. Thus, the new bishop is not expected to be installed before the end of next April.

The candidates will be presented at a series of parish meetings in the diocese between Nov. 7 and 14.

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