He’ll be the youngest bishop, by far

Home towns have gotten some bad press over the years when it comes their reputation for appreciating their own. Hometown newspapers often to a great job of profiling their own. A case in point is The Derrick’s coverage of Bishop-elect Sean Rowe (Northwestern Pennsylvania):

Recently elected the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, Rowe, at 32, will be the youngest Episcopal bishop in the world following his Sept. 8 consecration at Grove City College’s Harbison Chapel by the presiding bishop of the church, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori.

He will likewise be the youngest member of the church’s House of Bishops – by about 13 years.

Rowe’s rocketing to positions of prominence leads one to wonder if he has always been on the fast track — or if he is an old soul in a young man’s body.

A look at his journey to the threshold of the House of Bishops would seem to indicate that both explanations apply.

Read about his childhood and his calling here.

A prophet is his own home diocese? Check this out:

“Homosexuality is a theological issue. But fear cannot drive our discernment about it. We have to put people first. We are not simply talking about a theological idea but about real people and real lives. We must take care,” he said.

“We are commanded to love God and love our neighbor. That is first and beyond all else,” he said.

When the debate turns to “rightness and wrongness” we are at risk of forgetting “we are talking about people,” he said.

“Jesus Christ stood with people. You can tell a lot about a person by the people they have their next meal with. Jesus was not always with his disciples but with the tax collectors and prostitutes and other people thought impure. And then he opened the doors to everyone. The church has to do that, has to be radically hospitable. That does not mean that everything goes, but that everyone is welcome.”

“We should not be the gatekeepers but should be trying to get people to come in,” he said.

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