Bishop Gayle Harris appointed assistant bishop in Diocese of Virginia

Diocese of Virginia Bishop E. Mark Stevenson announced on Dec. 8 his appointment of Bishop Gayle E. Harris to serve as assistant bishop in that diocese.

Bishop Gayle Harris The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris

Harris will complete her work in the Diocese of Massachusetts as of Dec. 31 of this year and then take sabbatical time ahead of her official retirement date of March 31, 2023. She will begin as assistant bishop in the Diocese of Virginia on April 1.

"As the Diocese of Massachusetts has been blessed by Bishop Gayle Harris's ministries these 20 years, we are certain those in the Diocese of Virginia will soon know themselves to be blessed by her presence in their midst," Diocese of Massachusetts Bishop Alan M. Gates said of the appointment.

Harris reaches the church's mandatory retirement age of 72 in 2023; church policy allows for continued work in retirement that is carried out under a different employer.

The announcement from the Diocese of Virginia follows below and also is available in full here.

[Diocese of Virginia]: The Rt. Rev’d E. Mark Stevenson, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia, announced today the appointment of the Rt. Rev’d Gayle Elizabeth Harris as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia. Bishop Harris is currently Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Massachusetts. 

“I could not be more thrilled that Bishop Harris has accepted this call to serve as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Virginia. Her wisdom, wide-ranging church experience, and love of Jesus will be a gift to us all. Bishop Harris is prayerful, intentional, and devoted to the Good News that God is love. And personally, I am so very thankful that I will have such a clear thinking and fun-loving ministry partner as we – as a diocese – walk the path that Christ has put before us.” 

Bishop Harris will play a lead role in broadening and deepening the Diocese of Virginia’s formation ministries for both clergy and lay leaders. She will also share in the full range of episcopal duties, including support of clergy, congregational development, and visitations to churches, schools, colleges, and retirement communities. 

“As a former resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I feel honored and richly blessed to be appointed Assistant Bishop by Bishop Stevenson,” said Bishop Harris in a greeting to the people of the diocese. “Joyfully, I look forward to joining with you in the proclamation of the Gospel of love and reconciliation in the Diocese of Virginia and beyond. I pray that our ministry together in the name of Jesus, continues to empower us to be God’s agents of healing and transformation in our own lives, and in the world.” 

Bishop Harris begins her ministry in the Diocese of Virginia on April 1, 2023, and will live in Richmond, Va. 

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