On Friday, May 2 , the Rev. Canon Heather Cook, GTS Class of 1987, was elected Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland at the 230th Diocesan Convention at Turf Valley Resort, Ellicot City. Cook is the first woman to be elected a bishop for the Diocese of Maryland.
“Heather is a great leader of the Church,” praised GTS Dean, the Very Rev. Kurt H. Dunkle. “Many recognized her as such on Friday. General is proud to send forth its beloved daughter into the wider Church, well prepared 27 years ago on this very Close.”
In a statement to the members of the Diocese of Maryland, the Bishop Suffragan-elect said, “I am profoundly moved that after being ordained from the Diocese of Maryland in 1987, I am finally coming home to serve in the diocese that formed me and is in my bones. With gratitude for all who have helped shape me in ministry over the years, I look forward to crossing the Bay and exploring with you the proclamation of the life-giving Good News in a way that reaches across generations.”
The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, and a member of General’s Board of Trustees said, “This is a glorious day for the Diocese of Maryland as we welcome Heather Cook to the diocese and I look forward to her joining with me in our Episcopal ministry.”
Cook was elected on the fourth ballot from a slate of four nominees. The search process began in September 2013, following Bishop Joe G. Burnett’s announcement of his new call to serve as interim rector of St. Columba’s Church in Washington, D.C.
The Bishop Suffragan-elect must now receive the consent of a majority of both Standing Committees and bishops of the Episcopal Church. With that consent, Cook will be ordained and consecrated a bishop on Saturday, September 6 at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in northern Baltimore.