Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As you know, the Standing Committee has called a Special Convention of the Diocese of East Carolina to be held on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Greenville for the purpose of electing a Bishop Provisional to serve the Diocese of East Carolina.
We are honored to announce that the nominee for Bishop Provisional is The Right Reverend Peter James Lee. Bishop Lee served as Bishop Diocesan of the largest diocese of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Virginia, for twenty-four years. Bishop Lee is well known as a gifted Christian leader with outstanding experience as a leader in The Episcopal Church at home and abroad. In times of conflict he has been a moderate who intentionally reached out to people in both wings of the denomination attempting to keep as many people around the table as possible. We believe that Bishop Lee will bring faithful service, skilled experience and dynamic leadership to our Diocese as we continue in mission and ministry in the Diocese of East Carolina.
A recent Anglican Communion News Service article described Bishop Lee as "a prominent figure in the Episcopal Church, respected for his leadership and contributions to the work of the church in the United States and to the global mission of the Anglican Communion ... For more than a quarter century, Bishop Lee has maintained a commitment to the well-being and work of the church."
Bishop Lee has served as bishop of the Diocese of Virginia; chair of the Church Pension Fund board; trustee of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale; 17 years as chair of the board of trustees for Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria; board member for the National Alliance to End Homelessness. He also served on the advisory committee to the Anglican Observer at the United Nations and on the Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief (forerunner to Episcopal Relief & Development). Following his service with the Diocese of Virginia, Bishop Lee served as Interim Dean of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, of General Theological Seminary, and of the American Cathedral in Paris.
Bishop Lee was born in Mississippi and raised in Florida. After a stint in law school, as a newspaper reporter, and as a military intelligence officer, Lee began his ministry at an urban cathedral in Jacksonville, Florida. After his diaconal year, he became an assistant at St. John's Episcopal Church Lafayette Square in Washington, DC. He was rector of Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, North Carolina from 1971-1984, the year in which he was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese of Virginia.
Lee graduated magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University, and studied law at Duke University. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1967.
He is married to Kristina Knapp Lee. They have two children and five grandchildren.
As soon as Bishop Lee is elected by the Convention, he will become our Bishop Provisional. He will have all of the authority of a Diocesan Bishop during his tenure, which is expected to be approximately two years. We anticipate a short period of transition as Bishop Lee completes his work as Interim Dean of the American Cathedral in Paris and look forward to welcoming him to the Diocese of East Carolina in early April. The Standing Committee has appointed a team to facilitate hospitality and support for Bishop Lee during his transition to East Carolina; please keep Bishop Lee and his wife, Kristy, in your prayers as they prepare for the beginning of his ministry with the Diocese of East Carolina.
As we journey as a diocesan community with Jesus during the season of Lent, we pray that you, your parishes, your families, and your neighbors may also know his peace and hope.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Rev'd Kevin A. Johnson
President of the Standing Committee
The Diocese of East Carolina