Who We Are

The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan is a community of Christians who practice an ancient faith in a post-industrial age. Through worship, service, and compassion, the 43 congregations of our diocese bring the love of Christ alive, ministering both in the mainstream and at the margins. Together we seek creative, life-giving, faith-enhancing responses to the challenges of modern life.


The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ, in 109 dioceses across 17 nations. We are a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

As a church that welcomes questions and exploration, the Episcopal Church offers a meaningful alternative in a somewhat conservative political and religious context. As we attempt to live our faith with compassion and intelligence, our long and rich history of liturgical worship and social action supports and sustains us in our diverse communities.

The mission of the church, as stated in the Book of Common Prayer’s catechism (p. 855), is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”

The Episcopal Church celebrates diversity of people and worship styles, yet all worship is grounded in the tradition offered to us in the Book of Common Prayer. We are known for our engaging and beautiful worship services. For those who have grown up Roman Catholic, the service, known as the Mass, Eucharist or Holy Communion, will be familiar. For those of reformed tradition or those with no religious tradition, we think you may find a spiritual home in a church that respects its tradition and maintains its sense of awe and wonder at the power and mystery of God.

We honor both tradition and reason and strive to live by the example of Jesus Christ, welcoming the stranger and the outcast, helping our neighbors and offering love and forgiveness.  The Episcopal Church has 2 million members in 7,500 congregations and the wider Anglican Communion includes more than 70 million people.

Our Mission

Empowered for ministry through our baptism, the Diocese of Eastern Michigan is called to love God and neighbor through our relationship with God in Christ and through covenantal relationships characterized by collaboration, mutual accountability, and capacity building. We live this mission by praying, learning, serving and growing.

Our Vision

Our Vision is to live our values and be healthy, mission-focused diverse parishes with innovative, collaborative engagement at all levels.

Our Values

The mission of The Episcopal Church is to “restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.” In Eastern Michigan, we live that mission through four core practices.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. Romans 8:26

Can prayer change the world? We think so. Not just the prayer, of course, or the expectation that God will simply do as we ask, but that in praying we meet the Spirit and join our deepest longing to the certainty that God enters into prayer with us, holds us close, molds us ever more closely to God’s own image. Prayer creates a space in us for God’s love, so that we could start to see the world as God sees it, and to love others and ourselves as God loves us. Loving others as God loves us – perhaps that is how the world is changed.

My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. Isaiah 26:9

So much to do; where to begin? The journey of a human soul encounters many tasks, many challenges, and there is wisdom to be gained along the way. God’s wisdom is a gift and a blessing, and we have much to learn about ourselves, humanity, creation, and the goodness of Jesus Christ to make the journey fulsome. Study, reflection, dialogue, prayer – these are the components of learning to love in the Way of Jesus. We equip ourselves with knowledge and tools for the journey so that our burden is light, and so that we can help each other get our footing along the way.

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 1 Peter 4:10

The secret joy of service is the knowledge that your gifts are abundant and needed. There is not one soul under the sky that doesn’t have gifts to be shared. We call that sharing, service. Indeed, the greatest gift that we receive is the gift of sharing something of ourselves with another. We learned this in the example of Jesus Christ, who taught us that in serving others we pay honor to God and add to the glory of heaven. Together we discover our giftedness and find expressions of service that transform and shape the world into a vision of Christ’s love.

You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it…You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth. Psalm 65:9-10

The idea of growth assumes change. As a plant sprouts from its seed, sends up its stalk, opens its blossom, and manifests its fruit, it goes through change after change after change. Even so, all the time, it always the same green plant its seed was meant to be in its fullness. Christians, in a similar way, experience a growth journey that takes us from the seed of our beginnings and constantly moves us through change after change – all the while located in our identity in Jesus Christ and in the fullness of love that Christ intends for us. If we let Christ water the garden of our hearts, the fruits of his love will hang heavy and rich in our lives.

Our History

The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan was officially incorporated as its own diocese in 1995 with a vision of a Church founded on the empowerment of local leadership and the ministry of all the baptized.

Prior to our separation from our parent diocese, the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan (incorporated 1832), the Rt. Rev. William J. Gordon was called to serve as an Assistant Bishop in the mid-1970s. His ministry focused on the region now known as Eastern Michigan and helped articulate the vision of a new diocese formed on shared leadership and an empowered laity.

Our first bishop, the Rt. Rev. Edwin M. Leidel, Jr., was an energetic and enthusiastic catalyst for ministry and a prolific generator of ideas.

His entrepreneurial spirit and tireless embrace of possibilities helped give shape to a diocese that blesses experimentation and the ability to take bold steps without fear of failure.

In 2007, the diocese elected its second bishop, the Rt. Rev. S. Todd Ousley, a mission developer who served on the diocesan staff. Bishop Ousley’s tenure focused on relationship, creativity, and social justice, to bring innovative responses to modern challenges in ministry. He resigned in 2017 to accept a call from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to serve as the Bishop for Pastoral Development for The Episcopal Church.

In 2019, the diocese partnered with the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan to engage in 3-5 years of exploratory conversation and intentional sharing, considering how church structures and resources may be collaboratively aligned to better serve the Kingdom of God from coast to coast.

Bishops of Eastern Michigan