Donning a plain white robe, Gretchen Rehberg stood before five consecrating bishops, and with 650 witnesses packed into the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, promised to lead the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane as its ninth bishop.
Rehberg, 52, was elected as the Diocese’ first female bishop last year and in an elaborate and musical ceremony, was ordained Saturday.
“The gladness we share today is sacramental. It’s the outward expression of being in tune with God,” said The Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church. “When we sing and rejoice and give thanks, we’re sharing the love and hope of God for all that is being legalized here. Singing and joining in this great drama atunes us to the great harmony God intended before creation.”
For the past 11 years Rehberg served as rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Lewiston, Idaho and before that worked as a professor of organic chemistry at Bucknell University. She’s also served as a volunteer EMT and firefighter for more than 20 years.
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