Washington Episcopal Bishop John T. Walker will call for the election of a suffragan bishop at the annual meeting of the Washington Diocese, Jan. 24-25.
Walker, who was a suffragan bishop here under Bishop William Creighton until he became diocesan bishop on Creighton's retirement, has been working with the aid of assistant bishops serving on a contract basis.
Assistant bishops are persons who have retired or resigned from other dioceses, as opposed to a suffragan or diocesan bishop, who is elected to the post by the diocese in which he is to serve. Walker said that because of the limited number of persons available to serve as assistants, as well as the fact that church law limits the role of assistant bishops, "it is imperative" now to elect a suffragan bishop.
The convention later this month will be asked to approve the election of a suffragan bishop and to name nominating and other necessary committees.
The founder and head of the Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, who died Thursday, had named his successor.
Armstrong, who was 93, had designated Joseph K. Tkach, 59, director of administration of the church since 1980, as deputy pastor general of the California-based church and its affiliated organizations.
In a letter to church members announcing his choice, Armstrong had written that "I am in a very physically weakened state, enduring severe pain and with virtually no strength whatsoever."
Armstrong had spent much of his professional life traveling around the world in a private jet, calling on world leaders and lavishing expensive gifts on them in behalf of the church.
The generally secretive church, which requires members to set aside up to 30 percent of their income for church purposes, is known largely for its radio and television broadcasts, its politically conservative magazine "Plain Talk," and its luxuriously appointed Ambassador College in Pasadena.
The church has endured several scandals and schisms precipitated by alleged moral lapses of its leaders, including Armstrong. In 1978, he had a falling-out with his son and heir-apparent, Garner Ted Armstong. The younger Armstrong has since conducted an independent ministry.
Canadian Boy Scout officials have dismissed a leader of the Beaver Scouts -- the Canadian equivalent of Cub Scouts -- because she does not believe in God.
The controversy developed in Red Deer, Alberta, when Margaret Lyall was asked why she did not include prayers in her meetings with the 5- to 7-year-olds and she replied, "Well, because I'm an atheist."
Robert Milks, director of public affairs for the Boy Scouts of Canada, said in Ottawa that swearing to "love and serve God" is required of scout leaders.
"If a person cannot abide by that principle, the obviously this isn't the right organization for the person," Milks said.
He said that religious institutions, including Jewish, Hindu, Moslem, Buddhist and Christian, sponsor most of the scout troops across Canada.
Eight of Fiji's major religious organizations have petitioned that country's leaders to bar entry to Indian cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
The eight, including leaders of the Roman Catholic, Methodist and Seventh-day Adventist churches, acted on press reports that Rajneesh, deported from the United States last year, planned to found a commune in the South Pacific country.
Officials of the Hare Krishna movement, which has a large following in Fiji, organized the protest petition, according to the Reuter news agency.
Tomorrow is Super Sunday for the Washington area's Jewish community, when an anticipated 2,000 volunteers will work from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. telephoning 55,000 Jewish households in an effort to secure pledges totaling $3 million for the United Jewish Appeal Federation's annual budget. . . .
Until its new sanctuary is completed later this year, the Layhill Community Free Methodist Church in Silver Spring will worship, beginning tomorrow, at Barrie High School on Bel Pre Road. The church's longtime site on Bonifant Road has been purchased by Montgomery County to widen and improve the road. . . .
The Episcopal General Convention voted last September to add the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to its calendar of saints. But Episcopalians will remember him liturgically, not on his birthday but on April 4, the day he died.
Kent R. Hill, an associate professor of history at Seattle Pacific University, has been named the first executive director of the Institute for Religion and Democracy, effective in June. Hill, active in the Church of the Nazarene and whose academic specialty is Slavic and East European studies, was involved in the case of the "Siberian Seven," two Soviet Pentacostal families who took shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1978 and demanded to be allowed to emigrate on the grounds of religious persecution. They eventually were granted permission.
Rabbi I. David Oler of the Gaithersburg Hebrew Congregation and chairman of the Soviet Jewry Action committee of the Washington Board of Rabbis, will receive the Community Leadership Award next month from the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Washington.