The Rev. Dr. Audrey Scanlan, who received her M. Div. degree from Yale Divinity School and certificate in Anglican Studies from Berkeley Divinity School in 2003, has been elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and standing committees of the Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Scanlan, 56, has been serving as Canon for Mission Collaboration and Congregational Life in the Diocese of Connecticut. In that role her responsibilities included financial counseling and strategic planning for congregations; property discernment and development; building leadership capacities; addressing conflict; walking with parishes in all seasons of their congregational life; encouraging and facilitating Missional Experiments in Connecticut, and building networks and Communities of Practice across a diocese of 168 parishes.
She was born in New York but has lived in Connecticut for the past 50 years. Prior to becoming canon, she served as rector of the partner parishes of St. Gabriel’s in East Berlin and Church of Our Saviour in Plainville. Earlier in her career she and Linda Snyder, q Christian education director she worked with, developed and established a worship service for children on the autism spectrum and their families, Rhythms of Grace. Rhythms of Grace now takes place at an additional six sites in Connecticut, and in the dioceses of Alabama, Northern California, Western Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Texas and Wyoming. She has also served on the board of trustees for the Bishops’ Fund for Children, a diocesan ministry that funds and supports programs for children at risk in Connecticut.
Bishops Ian T. Douglas and Laura J. Ahrens, colleagues of bishop-elect Scanlan in Connecticut, issued a statement after her election: “In Audrey, the people of Central Pennsylvania have chosen a Christian leader of great vision and deep faith who is profoundly committed to the mission of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Audrey’s election is good news; good news for sisters and brothers in Christ in Pennsylvania, good news for the House of Bishops, and good news for The Episcopal Church. Even as we celebrate the good news of Audrey’s election, we are saddened by the reality that in becoming Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, we will lose her as a colleague in God’s mission here in Connecticut.”
The Diocese of Central Pennsylvania is composed of 12,827 members worshipping in 65 congregations throughout central Pennsylvania. Bishop-elect Scanlan will succeed Bishop Nathan Baxter, who retired last May after serving the Central Pennsylvania diocese for eight years. The Rt. Rev. Robert Gepert has since served as provisional bishop. Her consecration is scheduled to take place Saturday, September 12, 2015 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.