Rector of Christ Church to become bishop of Nebraska Episcopal Diocese

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:46

WARWICK - The Rev. Scott Barker, rector of Christ Church in the Village of Warwick, has been named as the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. Pending approval by the national Episcopal Church, Barker’s consecration is scheduled for Oct. 8 at the Embassy Suites Omaha-LaVista/Hotel Conference Center in Omaha. “It’s a daunting change,” said Barker who will be leaving a position as rector of a church with a typical Sunday congregation of 175 for a diocese where he will oversee 51 far-flung churches. “Nebraska is a huge state,” he said, “and one of my churches will be a nine-hour drive from my office in Omaha.” One advantage Barker enjoys, however, is that he was born and raised in Nebraska. He subsequently received his bachelor of arts degree in religious studies at Yale College, and earned his masters of divinity degree at Berkeley Divinity School, also at Yale. Barker was ordained in 1992 and served as assistant to the dean, and later Canon Vicar, at Trinity Cathedral in Omaha. In 2002 he became rector of Christ Church in Warwick. “During my tenure,” he said, “Christ Church has grown from a pastoral to a program-sized parish.” Under his stewardship Christ Church added two new worship services, hired a full-time assisting priest, established TV and Internet video ministries and founded a church-based community youth choir that performed last year at Carnegie Hall. He said he is especially proud of the Senior High Youth Summer Mission, which travels each year to areas both inside and outside the United States. Barker admits that he will miss Warwick, where he and his wife, Annie, raised their two children: Emily, a junior at Skidmore College, and Sam, a senior at Warwick Valley High School who will attend SUNY Genesco in the fall. “We love Warwick,” he said. “It will be sad to leave but we also look forward to this next assignment.” Although the Episcopal Diocese of New York decides who will succeed him, Barker and his parishioners are hoping assistant priest Mother Suzanne Wille will be named interim rector.