Diocesan Assembly Unanimously Nominates Bishop Nikolai of Baltimore to vacant Alaskan See

On Wednesday October 31, 2001 Eighty-two clergy and lay delegates from parishes of the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of Alaska unanimously voted to nominate His Grace, Bishop Nikolai of Baltimore, as the candidate for the vacant episcopal see of Sitka and Alaska.

The nomination vote took place during the Diocesan Assembly held at Saint Innocent Cathedral, Anchorage, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 30-31, 2001.

Prior to the Assembly, the Diocesan Council had agreed to propose Bishop Nikolai as a candidate for the vacant see. Delegates also had the option to nominate other candidates. In counting the ballots, 80 votes were cast for Bishop Nikolai, while two ballots were left blank. In response, His Eminence, Archbishop Gregory, retired Archbishop of Sitka and Alaska, who had been asked to chair the Assembly by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Alaska, called for a unanimous ballow. Assembly delegates concurred.

At a special session of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops slated to be held November 14-15, 2001, Bishop Nikolai’s nomination will be considered, and it is anticipated that members of the Synod will formally elect him as ruling bishop of Sitka and Alaska.

As an Auxiliary to Metropolitan Theodosius, Bishop Nikolai has guided the life of the Diocese of Alaska since mid-June 2001.

Pending the response of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Bishop Nikolai will be formally installed at a date yet to be announced.