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NEW EPISCOPAL BISHOPS ELECTED FOR NAVAJOS, ARMED FORCES

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The Episcopal House of Bishops has elected new bishops for the Navajoland Area Mission and the armed forces.

The Rev. Steven Tsosie Plummer, the first Navajo ordained to the priesthood, and the Rev. Charles Lovett Keyser, a career Navy chaplain, were elected during a closed session this week in historic Christ Church.Plummer, 45, had been elected by mission members in June during a special convention in Coalmine, N.M. The bishops' vote cleared the way for his consecration, which is expected in early 1990.

Owanah Anderson, who heads the Indian desk for the 2.5 million-member Episcopal Church, said Plummer's election gives the Navajo church a "renewed sense of self-determination."

The Navajoland Area Mission encompasses parts of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Keyser, 59, of Montrose, Va., was elected suffragan bishop for the armed forces on the second ballot, outpolling six other candidates.

A number of church leaders had advocated the annual appointment of an assisting bishop rather than a long-term suffragan bishop who may serve until the mandatory retirement age of 72.

The Episcopal Peace Fellowship had opposed having any bishop serve the armed forces on grounds it might suggest support of militaristic activities.

The 182 bishops have been meeting here since last Friday.