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Episcopal Diocese of Arizona elects first woman ever to serve as Bishop

Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-08 21:23:41-05

PHOENIX — Preparations are underway for a ceremony full of pageantry. As Jennifer Reddall, the Bishop-Elect of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona will be consecrated on Saturday with moments of joy but also high emotion.

"This is the next era, this is the next phase in our life in Christ in Arizona, is to come under the leadership of this new bishop," said David Benedict Hedges, Master of Ceremonies for the Consecration service.

For Bishop-Elect Reddall, this is a major milestone, as she looks forward to bringing her leadership to Episcopalians in Arizona.

"The needs of the church and the needs of the world come together in the office of the bishop," said Reddall.

March 8 is International Women's Day, and on this day the office of the Bishop has even more meaning. As it will be the first time, the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona has elected a woman to serve as their Bishop.

"I think it's really exciting for people to see leaders in the church who look like them and to see leaders in the church who maybe don't look like the way they think leaders in the church are supposed to look," said Reddall.

"The call of God is to people who can serve God, and some of them are male, and some of them are female and whoever they are, like the old folk used to say, whom so ever will let um come," said Presiding Bishop for the Episcopal Church, Michael B. Curry.

Eager to tackle the issues the church is facing here in Arizona and with Presiding Bishop Curry by her side, Reddall is ready to take on a world that she says can sometimes feel like a nightmare.

"What piece of that nightmare can I transform, I can't do it all but I can do my little piece of it, and that's something we're gonna do here in Arizona," Reddall said.

The Consecration service for Bishop-Elect Riddall will take place on Saturday, March 9 at Church for the Nations in Phoenix. The service is not open to the public as the venue is already full. However, the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona will stream the service live.

Reddall was elected as the Sixth Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona during the 58th Annual Diocesan Convention in October 2018.