I was very pleased to hear of an announcement in the Twittersphere earlier this week when Nick Knisely was elected on 2 June to be the 13th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. Assuming all goes well in the process, he’ll be purple-ized later this year.
I wanted to cover this news here because Nick has been someone who I’ve followed at a semi-distance for some time. I first met him through his work for the Episcopal Church in the USA on communications and he was part of a ‘futures’ group that I helped to convene in Dublin a good few years ago now while I was working for Church House Publishing.
I remember sitting at breakfast with him and another American priest, Andy Thayer, while they discussing dimension theory and having not the foggiest clue what they were talking about! I decided to keep quiet and focus on my hotel English breakfast!
Nick is a physics professor, in his spare time, and a blogger. Entangled States is always an interesting read and, given my own interests in church and technology, Nick has often been a very stimulating writer in thinking about how church, technology and (particularly) the general flow of human history is going that may make the long-term a very different place. For example, he keeps a close eye on oil, amongst other things, as a potential determining factor in the future of the church.
I don’t know if this applies to Arizona and the cathedral of which he has been Dean for the last few years, but Nick seemed to make a habit in his early ministry of going to places that needed some element of a turnaround. Rhode Island apparently has its own fair share of struggles at the moment both in the wider economy and the church, the cathedral closed earlier this year citing financial difficulty and things currently would seem a little bleak.
I have no doubt Nick will be a tremendous appointment in that situation. My very best wishes Nick to you and your family. We will hold you in prayer this Sunday here in my parishes and I hope this next appointment brings you joy.