May 6, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Integrity salutes the election of the Rt. Rev. Mark Handley Andrus as the eighth Bishop of California. Integrity President Susan Russell said: “Bishop Andrus is a long-time Integrity ally and will bring his support for the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the church to his ministry in California.”
Brad LaMonte, Integrity’s Southeastern Regional Vice President and a parishioner in the Diocese of Alabama, added: “Bishop Andrus’ election is a great loss for my diocese, but a great gain for the Diocese of California. Bishop Andrus is a person of vision who has led our diocese in confronting poverty and racism. He has given a voice to the voiceless. He is great champion for human rights-including equality for LGBT people. This past March he led a wonderful retreat for Integrity/Alabama.”
The Rev. Michael Hopkins, immediate past president of Integrity, commended the Diocese of California on its search. “It’s one of the most exhaustive searches I’ve ever seen. For two full years, they conducted town hall meetings, had all the nominees do ‘walkabouts,’ put out special curricula for all their congregations, and then they had all the nominees answer the congregations’ questions in detail. The entire process was driven by finding the best possible bishop for the diocese as they see themselves now and for the future. In their bishop-elect I believe they have found that bishop.”
According to the canons of the Episcopal Church, Andrus will be subject to confirmation by the church’s triennial General Convention of bishops and deputies-which will be held in Columbus, Ohio, beginning on June 12.
Integrity is the leading grassroots voice for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons in the Episcopal Church.
(The Reverend) Susan Russell, President
Doug Ball, Executive Secretary