NEW YORK (DPS, Apr. 27) -- The Presiding Bishop has announced
the appointment of James E. Solheim as News Director in the Department
of Communication at the Episcopal Church Center, replacing the Rev.
William D. Dearnaley, who left the post in 1988. Solheim is currently
Director of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts
and editor of the Massachusetts diocesan paper, Episcopal Times.
The News Director's role in the overall communication strategy
of the Episcopal Church is a major one, functioning as the principal
Church spokesperson and acting as a key figure in the dissemination of
news to the secular and religious media -- and to the communication
network of the Episcopal Church.
Solheim, who will assume his duties at the Church Center on
June 26, has a wide experience in religious journalism. He was the
founding editor and designer of Event, a monthly magazine dealing with
social issues (1968-74); associate editor of A.D. Magazine (1977-83);
editor of World Encounter (1984-88), and associate director of
interpretation for the world mission office of the Lutheran Church in
America. He has been editor, since 1983, of Grapevine, the monthly
newsletter of the Joint Strategy and Action Committee (JSAC), a
coalition of the national mission agencies of 14 Protestant Churches.
Solheim is a graduate of St. Olaf College in Northfield,
Minnesota, and holds graduate degrees from Luther Seminary in St.
Paul, Minnesota, and Columbia University.
He became a familiar figure to many communication people in
the Episcopal Church during the historic period in which Barbara C.
Harris was elected suffragan in Massachusetts, affirmed, and
consecrated, becoming the first woman bishop in the history of the
Anglican Communion. Solheim played a major role in disseminating and
interpreting the news generated by this international event.