SALT LAKE CITY — The Episcopal Church of Utah's 11th bishop — Canon Scott B. Hayashi — is a minister who will clearly get to know his church members.
That's what has impressed the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop and primate of the 14 countries that make up the Episcopal Church, about the new Utah religious leader.
"I think the Diocese of Utah has chosen a wonderful priest," she said in an interview Friday afternoon. "I look forward to great things."
The Rev. Hayashi will be consecrated as the 11th bishop in a special service, today at 11 a.m., in the Grand America ballroom, 555 S. Main.
The service will begin with a procession of banners, bishops from around the country, Native Americans and clergy from multiple faiths. The Most Rev. Schori will be the chief consecrator as the Rev. Hayashi becomes bishop of Utah.
The 10th bishop of Utah, the Rt. Rev. Carolyn Tanner Irish, is retiring and will turn over her ceremonial "crozier" (a staff resembling a shepherd's crook) to the new bishop as part of the traditional ritualistic service.
The public is welcome at the service and doors open for seating at 9:30 a.m.
A live webcast of the consecration service will also be available at: episcopal-ut.org.
Seating of the new bishop will be Sunday, Nov. 7, 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, 231 E. 100 South.
Last spring, on the eve of Pentecost, nearly 200 clergy and layperson delegates from Episcopal parishes across Utah gathered together and elected the Rev. Hayashi, 56, as the new leader for their diocese.
He received the majority votes — 73 of 128 votes cast in the lay order and 20 of 38 votes cast in the clergy order.
He was formerly the canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
"I'm both excited and humbled by it," the Rev. Hayashi said of his position. "I'll be praying long and hard."
He said he'd like to be known as a person who values religion and has a clear voice during his service as bishop.
He also said he plans on doing his best to partner with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the area's predominant religion, particularly in reaching out to and assisting the poor.
"The LDS Church has been in my opinion a force for good," the Rev. Hayashi told the Deseret News.
The Most Rev. Schori also stressed she is excited to be involved in a transition of leadership here, where the previous bishop has done such excellent work.
She expects that dealing with the great diversity in the diocese's ethnic population will be one of the Rev. Hayashi's biggest challenges.
Her main advice for him: "Love these people," she said.
The Rev. Hayashi said his church members can expect him to be present and involved as they move forward and seek out the mission of God.
He told the Deseret News last spring that he had never considered or desired the bishop's role and applied only after a friend and fellow priest from Utah persuaded him to allow his name to be placed in consideration.
The Rev. Hayashi is no stranger to Utah, but is lesser-known outside Ogden, where he served as rector of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church from 1989-1998, creating a program for inner-city youths that continues today.
He said he loves the people and the state of Utah.1 comment on this story
After serving in Ogden, he became rector of Christ Church in the suburban communities of Portola Valley and Woodside, in the Episcopal Diocese of California, where he served until called to the Diocese of Chicago in 2005.
He was born Dec. 8, 1953 in Tacoma, Wash., and received a bachelor of social work degree from the University of Washington in 1977. He holds a master of divinity degree from Harvard University's Divinity School (1981); and a Certificate of Theology from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California (1984).
He's been married more than 29 years to Amy Perlman O'Donnell and the couple has three adult daughters.