The writer of Ecclesiastes says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Over the past sixteen years, I have been privileged to serve at least three “seasons” with you — five years as Missioner and two seasons across almost eleven years as your bishop. Now is the time for me to enter a new season of ministry and for you to enter your own new season as well.
Now is the time for me to enter a new season of ministry and for you to enter your own new season as well.
On March 30th, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry called me to join his staff as Bishop for Pastoral Development. This new ministry will allow me to continue serving the church with my passion for discerning the intersection of vocation and location — the imaginative and Spirit-filled discovery of the right persons in the right place at the right time for the ministry that God is calling us to engage. As Bishop for Pastoral Development, I will minister with and on behalf of the Presiding Bishop as chaplain to bishops and their families, facilitator of elections and transitions of bishops, overseer of the disciplinary and reconciliation processes with bishops and dioceses, and collaborator with the formation ministry of the College for Bishops.
Your faithfulness and willingness to explore creative ministry possibilities have reinforced for me the fundamental importance of holy and healthy relationships, trust in one another, and the value and reward of taking a risk for Jesus. I will carry these values with me as I enter this next season and will go forth in the sure and certain hope that you are with me always. I can think of no better companions along the way. Please know also that I will hold you always in my own heart and prayers.
Your faithfulness and willingness to explore creative ministry possibilities have reinforced for me the fundamental importance of holy and healthy relationships, trust in one another, and the value and reward of taking a risk for Jesus.
Ann, Ian, Dae and Josh join me in giving thanks for the welcome, love and support you have shown us over the past sixteen years. We look forward to seeing you in the weeks to come and celebrating our mutual sharing of life and ministry. Plans are being made for an opportunity to gather as a diocesan family with more details to be shared as those plans unfold. I remain your bishop through the end of June, even while we begin the process of blessing one another along the way.
Your Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, and Diocesan Staff are already actively engaged in establishing frameworks for engaging you in decisions about the immediate transition and future possibilities. I ask that you pray for them, work with them, and remain open to the Spirit’s guidance. God has blessed us all in our past seasons together; those blessings will most assuredly continue.
The Right Reverend Todd Ousley
The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan
- Letter from the Standing Committee
- Bishop Ousley’s Final Message to the Diocese