Solheim Appointed News Director At Church Center

Episcopal News Service. April 27, 1989 [89080]

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.