Bavi Edna “Nedi” Rivera was elected bishop suffragan in the diocese of Olympia in May, making her the first Hispanic woman bishop and the 12th woman bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church in the United States.
The election, held at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle, took three ballots. The diocese of Olympia comprises 33,000 Episcopalians in the western half of the state of Washington.
Bishop Rivera is the daughter of Victor Manuel Rivera, who served as bishop of the diocese of San Joaquin, Calif., from 1968 to 1988. She was ordained a priest in 1979.
The Episcopal church was the first province in the Anglican Communion to ordain a woman as bishop when Barbara Harris was consecrated bishop suffragan of the diocese of Massachusetts in February 1989. Bishop Rivera becomes the 16th woman bishop in the history of the worldwide Anglican Communion of 70 million members.