I am the Bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island, which is part of the Episcopal Church.
I was recently appointed as the “Lead Bishop” for Science to the Anglican Communion for the Episcopal Church following the 2022 Lambeth Conference.
I am a member of the dispersed religious order of the Society of Ordained Scientists, and have made my life vows. I try to live out our rule of life in my public speaking and the books I’ve written, including my most well known one, “Lent is not Rocket Science” (see below for more information).
Previously I was the Dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix AZ. I moved to Phoenix from Bethlehem PA where I was the Rector of Trinity Church in the city of Bethlehem. (And, just to complete the list, prior to my time in Bethlehem, I was the Rector of St. Barnabas Church in Brackenridge PA and before that Curate at St. Barnabas Church in Hockesin Delaware. I was originally ordained deacon and priest in the Diocese of Delaware from Immanuel Church on the Green in New Castle.)
My training is as a clergy person is somewhat unusual. I did my undergraduate degree in Physics and Astronomy at Franklin and Marshall College. I did my graduate studies at the University of Delaware in Cosmology and Solid State Physics. I then left the world of Physics and studied at Yale and Berkeley Divinity Schools from which I received my theological degrees.
For 6 years or so in Bethlehem I taught Astronomy and Physics at Lehigh University. Now that I’m Rhode Island, I’m going to have to find new ways to stay up-to-date in Astronomy and Physics.
During these last years in Rhode Island I have been speaking and writing about a number of topics, first and foremost being the relationship and interactions between Science and Religion. I’ve published two books on the subject, “Lent is not Rocket Science” and “Entangled States“. I’ve published a third book “The Journey to Easter” which is a set of meditations on Luke/Acts. I’m working on a fourth book at the moment that is focusing on the changing business models of parish ministry.
In Phoenix, where I served as the Dean of Trinity Cathedral for six years, I was involved with local and national ecumenical work, continued my involvement with communications ministry and served on the state’s ecumenical Theology Committee. I’ve been interested in the issues surrounding immigration reform and was involved in the diocesan and faith communities’ response to proposed federal legislation this spring. As Dean of the Cathedral I worked closely with Bishop Smith to design alternative education programs for ordinands. I served on the diocesan Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Program group and worked with various parish based groups around the diocese to coordinate our mission response in this area. Toward the end of my time in Phoenix I was part of an ecumenical group of faith leaders here in the state of Arizona to seek ways to bring the voice of the faithful into the deliberations of the state legislature.
In 2003 and 2006 I was elected by the people of the Diocese of Bethlehem to serve as a Deputy to The General Convention of the Episcopal Church. At General Convention in 2003 I was the recording secretary of the World Mission Legislative Committee. After that convention I was appointed/elected the Chair of the Standing Commission on Episcopal Church Communication and will serve on that body until 2009. I served on the Communications Legislative Committee at the 2006 General Convention. I was elected to serve from Arizona as chair of the deputation for the 2009 and the 2012 convention. I served again on the Communications Legislative Committee in Anaheim (2009) and will serve on the same legislative committee again in Indianapolis. Because of my election in Rhode Island, I didn’t finish out my term in General Convention in the House of Deputies in 2012. I was appointed to the Executive Council committee on Science, Technology and Faith by the Presiding Bishop for the 2013-2015 triennium. I have served as the chair of the Evangelism Legislative Committee (2018) and on Program Budget and Finance (2022).
I served on the Dialogue team of Moravians and Episcopalians here in the United States. The agreement to enter full communion between the denominations was passed unanimously by both houses of General Convention in the summer of 2009 and by the Moravian Northern and Southern Provinces in 2010. The celebration of Full Communion between our two denominations happened in February of 2011.
I’m married to Karen McT Knisely and we have a daughter Kenney.