The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey William Mello was ordained and consecrated bishop diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut on Saturday, October 15 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Mello is the first openly gay person to serve as Connecticut’s diocesan bishop. He succeeds the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, PhD. Douglas has led the diocese since April 2010.
Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry was the chief consecrator. Joining Curry as co-consecrators for the traditional laying-on of hands were the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, the Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens (Bishop Suffragan, Connecticut) the Rt. Rev. Thomas James Brown (Bishop Diocesan, Maine) the Rt. Rev. Alan Gates (Bishop Diocesan, Massachusetts) the Rt. Rev. Gayle Harris (Bishop Suffragan, Massachusetts) and the Rt. Rev. James Hazelwood, Bishop of the New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 27 bishops were in attendance.
The Rev. Canon Meaghan Brower, Executive Director of the Episcopal Conference Center, preached the sermon.
“Your new bishop will be excellent because he knows joy,” Brower said. “And he will point you to Jesus, he will point you to joy. He will remind you of the fact that God loves you abundantly and unconditionally and part of that love includes living a life of joy.”
The service included a festive procession of diocesan and ecumenical leaders, clergy and liturgical ministers and brought together singers from across the diocese accompanied by a jazz band, string quartet, Spanish language ensemble, a brass ensemble, and a steel band. The service was livestreamed with over 1,300 views.
In his remarks, Mello said, “Wherever you come from today, consider yourself home. Whatever church you come from, today this is your church. If it’s been a long time since you’ve been in a church, or the first time you’ve been in a church that’s in a convention hall above a tattoo convention…this is your church. Wherever you come from, wherever you are in your journey with or towards God, know today you are welcome, and you are invited here.”
On October 16, Mello was formally seated at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford. Videos of Bishop Mello’s ordination and consecration and his seating are available below.