Bishop Update | Provisional Process

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we approach our diocesan convention later this month, we write with an update on the process of selecting a bishop provisional to serve alongside our people in Eastern and Western Michigan.

As was announced in August, a special interviewing committee composed of equal members of both dioceses met several times over the last couple of months to interview a slate of candidates. Having conducted these interviews, they recommended a candidate to the Joint Standing Committee, who enthusiastically accepted the recommendation. We are now in the process of conducting background checks and other necessary steps toward public nomination.

Consistent with the canons of The Episcopal Church, the candidate is an already-consecrated bishop currently serving in another diocese. The Standing Committee is charged with selecting and nominating one candidate to the convention.

If elected, our candidate for bishop provisional will be with us for 2-4 years, throughout the period of intentional relationship and exploration between our two dioceses, as we navigate the longterm effects of the pandemic and continue to heal from the suspension of our bishop over the last year. The role of bishop provisional is akin to priest-in-charge, holding all the responsibilities of a bishop diocesan but without tenure. As a seasoned bishop, they offer our dioceses rich experience in ministry and an outsider’s perspective as we tackle the big questions about who we are called to be in this place and time. They would be a shared staff member of the dioceses, joining our Canon for Evangelism and Director of Children, Youth, and Young Adult Ministries in serving our communities from shore to shore.

The candidate is in the process of announcing their departure within their current diocese. Recognizing that these goodbyes are pastorally sensitive, they have requested that we wait to release a full announcement about the candidate until mid-October. We are excited to share their name and information with you as soon as we are able.

After the nomination is announced and before the joint diocesan convention, there will be several opportunities for Zoom “meet and greets” with the bishop for our people to hear from and interact with our nominee ahead of convention.

Please RVSP using the links provided above to receive your secure Zoom link for the meeting. We invite you to share this invitation broadly within your congregation with the understanding that these gatherings are open to all. Delegates and clergy voting in the upcoming convention are especially encouraged to attend.

We ask your prayers for the candidate, for your Standing Committees, and for one another as we enter our next season of ministry together with unceasing hope, great humor, and expectant listening to the Spirit’s leading. We look forward to sharing more information soon and to see you on Zoom and in Lansing later this month!

Yours in Christ,
The Standing Committee of Eastern Michigan

Janet Huff Worvie, President
St. John’s, Otter Lake

The Rev. Brian Chace, Vice Pres.
Ret., West Branch

Gary Grinn
St. Paul’s, Gladwin

Barb Ilkka, Secretary
St. John’s, Saginaw

The Rev. Deacon Anna Leigh Kubbe
Holy Family, Blue Water

The Rev. Nancy Mayhew
St. Alban’s, Bay City
The Standing Committee of Western Michigan

The Rev. Dr. Randall R. Warren, Pr.
St. Luke’s, Kalamazoo

Martha Bartlett, Secretary
St. James, Pentwater

The Rev. Jodi Baron
St. Philip’s, Beulah & Holy Trinity, Manistee

David Croal
St. Mark’s, Coldwater

Anne Davidson
St. Mark’s, Coldwater

The Rev. BJ Heyboer, Vice Pres.
St. Mark’s, Newaygo

The Rev. Diane M. Pike
Southwest MI Episcopal Covenant

Carole Redwine
St. Philip’s, Grand Rapids