CONCORD, N.H. – May 19, 2012 – The Rev. A. Robert (Rob) Hirschfeld was elected bishop coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire today at St. Paul’s Church, on the first ballot. In January 2013 he will succeed Bishop Gene Robinson as the Xth Bishop of New Hampshire. Since 2001 he has served Grace Church, Amherst, MA, as rector.
It is being reported that the Diocese of New Hampshire has elected the Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst, Massachusetts on the first ballot. Information on the candidates is here and here.
The diocese filmed a video profile for the candidates:
From the Boston Globe.
Statement from IntegrityUSA
"Integrity USA celebrates today with the people of the Diocese of New Hampshire on their election of the Rev. A. Robert Hirschfield to serve as their tenth bishop," said Integrity's Vice President of National Affairs, The Rev. Jon M. Richardson.
Integrity President The Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall added: "We are confident that the people of New Hampshire have listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit and have elected the person best able to lead them in fulfilling God's mission in the coming years.
The Rev. Jon M. Richardson continued, " "The Diocese of New Hampshire - as well as the wider church - have been richly blessed by the ministry of Bishop Gene Robinson. Bishop-elect Hirschfield will have big shoes to fill as he moves into his new call. The bishop-elect was chosen from an outstanding field of three candidates, and it is a credit to the people of New Hampshire, as well as a testament to the progress of the Episcopal Church as a whole, that the three candidate's sexual orientations served as little more than an historical footnote through this process.
"Bishop-elect Hirschfield was chosen on the basis of his strong credentials as a pastor, priest, and teacher and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the context of prayerful discernment on the part of the Diocese of New Hampshire. The bishop-elect has a strong record of support for marriage equality and is a trusted friend of the LGBT movement, and we are eager to work with him in the years ahead as we continue to move the church from "Resolution to reality: making all mean ALL!"
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Director of Communications
UPDATE AGAIN - letter from bishop elect the Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld:
I am overjoyed to learn that this Convention has selected me to be the tenth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. The careful and prayer-filled deliberation that the Search and Transition Committees exhibited throughout the past several months gave me confidence that this process was firmly guided by the Holy Spirit, and so I humbly and gratefully accept your invitation to by your bishop. I am honored to join you in the holy work of bearing witness to the power of Christ’s forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection in this time and in this place. Polly and I, along with our children, are ready and eager to explore the many opportunities that this moment presents to us, and we are deeply grateful.
I must hasten to say that it has been an incredible privilege to stand alongside Penny Bridges and Bill Rich in this holy work of discernment. Penny and Bill are two excellent and gifted priests whose intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral gifts are abundantly evident in their lives and in their ministries. I am confident both Penny and Bill will continue to give God glory in the Church in the exact place where God calls each of them, and that God will fulfill their hearts’ desire for the benefit of Christ’s Church and the world.
What I have discovered over the past few months of getting to know this diocese is that I have not felt called to be a bishop so much as I have felt called to be your bishop, the bishop of New Hampshire. I look forward to working alongside Bishop Gene Robinson over the next several months, and to joining the strong team that does such fine work at Diocesan House. I am inspired by the powerful sense of collegiality among the clergy and people of this diocese. I am inspired by your commitment to bring the Good News of God’s presence and power to more youth and young adults in this state. And I am inspired by your desire to equip the ministry of all the baptized for the life and restoration of the world.
God has been doing a good and holy work in New Hampshire, and I am deeply delighted to share in it with you. Thank you for this incredible honor and for the trust that you have placed in me. May God bless you, Bishop Gene, the people, and parishes of the Diocese of New Hampshire, in the days and weeks ahead and forever more.