The Rt. Rev. Whayne Hougland, now former bishop provisional of Eastern and bishop diocesan of Western Michigan, offers the dioceses a word as he departs, blessing us on our way.
Hi, my friends in Eastern and Western Michigan, it’s Whayne Hougland here. As you know, a week ago I resigned as your Bishop. It was not a decision that was made easily or lightly, but, was done prayerfully and intentionally after a lot of discernment.
Some things I wanted to say as I leave you — first of all, I just am terribly sorry for what has transpired in the last year — for my bad choice that led to my suspension, and to the hardship and difficulty and disappointment that many of you have experienced because of that in the last year. That will be a burden I will carry with me for the rest of my life and I am truly sorry. It was my choice, it was a bad choice, and I apologize.
I also wanted to say a deep thank you to you for your continued support in this last year to Dana and me and our family. I have been working for this last year to get back to you, but it didn’t seem to work out. I just want you to know how much I appreciate the support you’ve given particularly Dana, she is doing really well and we’re working really really hard on our marriage and on ourselves. We’re both in really good physical shape and we’ve been working with therapists on a weekly basis and working together. We’re taking it one step at a time, day-by-day. Just like any relationship would — it’s just day-by-day, one step at a time. There have been some difficult times, but we’re working our way through it.
I also wanted to tell you we’re now living in Indianapolis, we’ve actually been here since August of last year, close to our daughter Erin and her husband Isaac, and our grandsons Ian and Sam. We live just about a 10-minute walk from them. We’ll be staying here in Indianapolis and trying to continue our lives moving forward from here. Leah and River and Evan will continue living in Grand Rapids where they’ve made a home and are quite happy. This gives us reasonable proximity to them and also to both sets of our parents who are in Lexington, Kentucky, just a few hours down the road.
Just some things I wanted to say before I leave… If there’s anything prophetic that I have to say, it’s that you must know is that you are absolutely, each one of you, beautiful gems of creation. There ain’t gonna be another one like you ever in the history of the world. You are fabulous and wonderful just as you are, and I hope that you can believe that, I believe that, I’m trying to believe that for myself.
I also wanted to share with you one last time some words from John McQuiston from his book, “Always We Begin Again,” — he’s talking about Paramount goals.
“What is wanted is not that we should find ultimate truth nor that we should become secure, nor that we should have ease, nor that we should be without hurt, but that we should live fully. Therefore, we should not fear life nor anything in life. We should not fear death nor anything in death. We should live our lives in love with life. And so it is for us to train our hearts to live in Grace, to sacrifice ourselves and our desires, to find the peace without want, without seeking it for ourselves, and when we fail, to begin again each day.”
That’s certainly what I’m trying to do. I want you to know that I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I wish you nothing but the best as you move forward.
And as I leave, remember that life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel this way with us. So, be swift to love and make haste to be kind. In the blessing of God all mighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you now and always. Amen. Be well, everyone.