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It is not often that an Episcopal priest in Utah is nominated to be a bishop somewhere else, but it is even rarer for one who was trained as a journalist and hosted his own gourmet cooking show while wearing his clerical collar.
But that's exactly what has happened to the Rev. Raymond Joe Waldon, dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Mark in Salt Lake City.
Waldon was named last week as one of five finalists for bishop of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, which covers 31 counties in two time zones and includes 36 parishes and missions.
The results of the election will be announced in February 2016, and the bishop will be seated in June.
The affable Waldon is "humbled and honored" to be nominated for the post, along with the Rev. Canon Lynn Carter-Edmands of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, the Rev. Canon Andrew T. Gerns of the Diocese of Bethlehem, Pa., the Rev. Susan B. Haynes of the Diocese of Northern Indiana, and the Rev. Douglas E. Sparks of the Diocese of Minnesota.
Waldon assumed his position at the iconic Utah cathedral in 2011. In the four years since, he has been seen as "a bridge-builder and a member of the interfaith community," according to a news release.
During that time, the cathedral has hosted many wide-ranging conversations on violence, racism and how to help the poor.
Waldon is also noted for "offbeat programs like hosting a 'monk-a-thon' where a monk was in residence for a week," the release said, "having Ballet West perform inside the cathedral, and bringing the St. John's Bible display to Salt Lake City twice."
He also invited Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and the late Mormon apostle L. Tom Perry to read scripture during services known as Lessons and Carols.
As dean, Waldon has overseen the largest congregation in the diocese as well as the cathedral's food pantry and the annual diocesan convention and ordinations.
This year, that assignment was magnified dramatically.
In June, Utah's Episcopal diocese hosted the faith's triennial convention, which included days of discussions and debates. Delegates also gathered in the cathedral and elected the church's new presiding bishop and its first African-American leader the Rev. Michael Curry.
By all accounts, Waldon has a knack for such organizing.
The easygoing priest, who spent his childhood in the South, earned a bachelor's in English and journalism from Louisiana Tech University, where his studies included classical literature and broadcasting. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1995 in the Diocese of Western Louisiana.
Waldon and his wife, Lisa, married in 1978 and have two married sons and two toddler grandsons.