The Rt. Rev. Diana Akiyama was born in Wheeler, Oregon, and grew up in a Japanese-American community in Hood River. Bishop Akiyama was the first Japanese-American woman ordained to the priesthood in The Episcopal Church in 1989 by the Rt. Rev. Rustin Kimsey, Diocese of Eastern Oregon.
She holds a Ph.D. in Religion and Social Ethics from the University of Southern California (2001), an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley (1988), and a B.S. from the University of Oregon (1981). Before returning to Oregon to serve as our 11th bishop, she served as the Vicar at St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kapaau, Hawai’i, and as Dean at Waiolaihui’ia School of Formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Hawai’i.
Bishop Akiyama’s passion for living in the charisms of preaching, teaching, and the sacerdotal work of the priesthood continues to form her as a spiritual leader. Speaking the truth in love expressed through authenticity, trustworthiness, compassion, and clarity of vision are the hallmarks of her spiritual leadership.
“I am energized when my leadership helps communities to shift assumptions, restore expectations, and imagine a new way forward. Listening with empathy, courage, and openness allows me to walk with individuals and communities to connect their deepest yearnings with God’s call,” Bishop Akiyama stated.
Her gifts as a spiritual leader find their fullest expression in work centered on discerning how God is calling each of us to participate in the Beloved Community. She is continually awed by the Holy Spirit’s activity in and through each of us and will continue this work in the various opportunities to walk with the people of the Episcopal Church in Western Oregon.
Bishop Akiyama was consecrated on January 30, 2021, at Trinity Cathedral in Portland, Oregon.
Photos & Media
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Bishop Akiyama’s Vestments
The bishop’s vestments (Cope, Mitre, Chasuble, and Stole) were designed and constructed by Corvallis artist Karen Illman Miller, a katazome master. Katazome is a traditional Japanese stencil dyeing technique that represents nature through abstract graphic images. Themes of Oregon and Hawai’i are the primary images in the vestments. In particular, the theme of water—a natural element that pre- dominates in both Hawai’i and Oregon—has been emphasized. Learn more about the vestments here, and see photographs
of the vestments from the artist here.
Bishop Akiyama’s Reflections & Messages