UPDATED: see below
From the Diocesan News of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts:
Jan. 15, 2013: Noting that he is now in his 19th year as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE today announced his call for the election of a bishop coadjutor to succeed him upon his retirement. The proposed date for the electing convention is April 5, 2014.
Episcopal News Service reports:
“I love being your bishop and it is an honor to serve you,” Shaw said in a letter announcing his decision, sent Jan. 15 to diocesan clergy and leadership. “These years have been some of the richest years of my life. All of you and this work have taught me much about myself and the nature of our loving God for which I will always be grateful. I am full of gratitude for all that God has given us to do: the challenges God has offered us, the opportunities and all the experiences of God’s abundance which we have experienced in our life together.”
Shaw, who will be 68 in August 2013, was consecrated a bishop on Sept. 24, 1994, and became the 15th bishop of Massachusetts on Jan. 15, 1995. He is a life-professed member of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, a religious order of priests and lay brothers in the Episcopal Church.
From the Boston Globe:
Shaw, 67, a quiet monk who became known for outspoken advocacy on economic and social justice issues, led the diocese through a turbulent decade in the Anglican Communion, during which controversy over the Episcopal Church’s first gay bishop and gay unions threatened to split the worldwide church and divided some congregations at home.
State Representative Byron Rushing, a Boston Democrat and vice president of the national church’s House of Deputies, praised Shaw.
“He’s been an excellent bishop for this diocese, and he has led us in a number of positive directions,” he said Tuesday night. “He has been a leader, not only in this diocese but in the Episcopal Church in the areas of openness and diversity for all people, but especially for people of color and for people in various sexual minorities in our society. And he’s also a good fund-raiser.”
Retired Bishop Suffragan Barbara Harris, who worked closely with Shaw in the diocese until her retirement in 2002, also lauded him for his work with youth and for his efforts to help congregations grow.
Canon Edward Rodman, a faculty member at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge and a former diocesan official, credited Shaw with helping to guide the diocese through a difficult period after Bishop David Johnson took his own life in 1995.
“He just had to step up to the plate and get it going and, of course, deal with a very delicate and difficult healing process,” Rodman said Tuesday night.