The Rev. Austin K. Rios

Rector, St. Paul’s Within the Walls Episcopal Church, Rome, Italy
The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe

Seminary Education:

M.Div – The Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, TX

Other Education:

B.A. English – Davidson College, Davidson, NC

View nominee’s submitted resumé

Introductory Statement

Dear faithful siblings, I’m delighted to share who I am and look forward to knowing you better during our Meet and Greet events. Growing up in a bicultural family shaped my vocation to connect across lines of difference and lead the communities I’ve served into the joy and power of reconciled relationships in God. Born in Texas and raised in Louisiana, my first cross-cultural immersion experience arose from a move to Wisconsin. While the customs and culture were different from what I’d known, Wisconsin soon became home because of my family’s engagement in the community and the Church. I’ve had extensive practice and experience finding home in new places and new communities, without leaving behind the gifts and connections from previous environments.

Following Christ led me to Mexico, where I served in the Young Adult Service Corps, and then to Western North Carolina, where I served as curate at Grace Church, and then as Diocesan Canon for Spanish Speaking Ministries and Rector of La Capilla de Santa Maria. My work involved advocating for the rights of undocumented parishioners and neighbors, while building interdenominational and interfaith coalitions that could stand together and translate our call to justice into policy change. This ministry connected English-speaking and Spanish-speaking members of the Diocese through storytelling, celebration and grieving—and through making explicit the link between liturgy and social action.

For 11 years, Rome has been my home. St. Paul’s Within the Walls is multicultural, multilingual, and multigenerational. Our primary outreach ministry is the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, where refugee guests from around the globe are welcomed. St. Paul’s represents our Episcopal Church in ecumenical events and to the Vatican. Ministry has involved ensuring the diversity of our parish is represented in leadership; extensive fund-raising and coordination of the restoration of our sanctuary and campus; mentoring YASC interns; and expanding the JNRC so more people may find home here. Serving as Trustee of the Church Pension Fund and deputy to General Conventions keeps me connected to our wider church.

Being both spiritually rooted and willing to journey fearlessly into the unknown arises from my profound faith in the God who knows no human boundaries but seeks to draw all into the transformative love of Christ. If called as your bishop, I would bring this unique formation and experience to the Bay Area. I would hope to listen and learn with you about the ways God calls us to gather in worship, to be transformed, and to serve the people within and beyond the borders of the diocese. It would be an honor to make a home among you, and to proclaim boldly together—in thought, word, and deed—that all belong in God’s beloved community.

Video Statement

Saludos en el nombre de Cristo dear friends in the Diocese of California.  My name is The Reverend Austin Keith Rios, and I look forward to meeting with you soon.

I love the diversity and witness of the Bay Area as a friend, as a fan, and as a pilgrim; and I am thankful for your leadership in the work of creation care; diversity, equity and inclusion; and in celebrating the gifts of LGBT communities.  

I believe your next Bishop should be relational, multicultural, multilingual, and well-practiced in skills that honor unique members of the Body while channeling their gifts into a unified witness.

After 18 years of ordained ministry in national and international settings, I value authenticity and would hope to bring my spiritually rooted joy into the complexities of ministry among you.

And as a Davidson College Alum, I am a massive Steph Curry and Golden State Warriors fan, and I would love to cheer for them from the same time zone!

Gracias por tomar el tiempo para conocerme mejor, and I look forward to being with you soon.

Saludos en el nombre de Cristo, queridos amigos de la Diócesis de California. Mi nombre es el Reverendo Austin Keith Ríos y espero reunirme con usted pronto.

Amo la diversidad y el testimonio del Área de la Bahía como amigo, como aficionado y como peregrino; y estoy agradecido por vuestro liderazgo en la obra del cuidado de la creación; diversidad, equidad e inclusión; y en la celebración de los dones de las comunidades LGBT.

Creo que su próximo Obispo debe ser relacional, multicultural, multilingüe y tener buenas prácticas en habilidades que honren a miembros únicos del Cuerpo y al mismo tiempo canalicen sus dones en un testimonio unificado.

Después de 18 años de ministerio ordenado en entornos nacionales e internacionales, valoro la autenticidad y espero llevar mi alegría espiritualmente arraigada a las complejidades del ministerio entre ustedes.

Y como alumno de Davidson College, soy un gran fanático de Steph Curry y los Golden State Warriors, ¡y me encantaría animarlos desde la misma zona horaria!

Gracias por tomar el tiempo para conocerme mejor, y espero estar contigo pronto.