Growing up the son of an Episcopal priest in Montgomery, Ala., at the height of the civil rights movement, Waldo witnessed a tragically divided society from both sides.
“I saw how some people lived radically differently from the way I lived. I saw the anger and violence directed at other people and knew this was not what God wanted for this world,” he told The Greenville News.
Years later, after rejecting the faith of his father and living through “an unwanted, soul-crushing separation and divorce,” he found solace in contemplative prayer and 16th century music….
As Waldo, 56, takes over leadership of a diocese of 62 congregations stretching from Columbia to the Upstate, he will be drawing on the spirit of reconciliation, self-sacrifice and mutual respect he developed during those formative years.
Those traits may help him guide the Upstate’s 26,000 Episcopalians through a continuing controversy over homosexuality that already has caused one parish in Aiken County to leave the diocese, and some families to leave the denomination.