Hello friends and colleagues,
We greet you with excitement as we announce the nomination of the Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick to serve as Bishop Provisional of our diocese as we continue to live into our time of transition.
A provisional bishop is a bishop – either retired or concurrently holding another episcopal post – who serves as the bishop of a particular diocese during a vacancy for an agreed period of time or until a new bishop takes office. The Bishop Provisional holds the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese and would represent that diocese in the House of Bishops. In consultation with the Presiding Bishop, the Standing Committee nominates one candidate to the Diocesan Convention, who votes yes or no.
Why a Bishop Provisional and not a Bishop Diocesan? In most cases, a Bishop departs their diocese through retirement. This allows the diocese to have some lead time to go through the search process, nominate a slate of candidates, and vote to elect their next bishop before the exiting bishop departs. Because our bishop left for another position and not for retirement, we did not have that time. We do have the time and space to faithfully consider the issues and opportunities confronting our diocese – these are not limited to budget realities, decreasing and emerging populations, and cultural trends away from church-attendance and religious life. Like a congregation engaging an interim pastor, we hope, with a provisional bishop as a companion, to faithfully engage the entire diocese in this exciting conversation to discover where God is leading us in our life and ministry as the Episcopal Church in Eastern Michigan.
The Rt. Rev. Catherine (Cate) Waynick served as the Tenth Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis for twenty years before her retirement in 2017. She began her ministry in the Diocese of Michigan serving churches in Bloomfield HIlls and Pontiac before being elected bishop in 1997. Beyond her ministry in Indianapolis, Bishop Waynick served on several General Convention legislative committees, on the Abundance Committee of the Church Pension Fund, and on the task force to revise Title IV (Disciplinary Canons). She continues to serve as President of the Disciplinary Board for Bishops and as a Governor of the Anglican Centre in Rome. Bishop Waynick has been married for 49 years to Larry, and they have two grown children, Elizabeth (Mike) of Irvine, CA and Steve (Tricia) of Canton, MI.
If elected at October’s Diocesan Convention, Bishop Waynick would begin her tenure with us immediately. She would serve on a half-time basis, alternating two weeks in the diocese and two weeks off. The agreement would last for one year with option to extend. She would perform all episcopal functions including ordinations and confirmations in addition to other traditional duties of a bishop including staff supervision, visitations, and more. Bishop Waynick would work closely with the Standing Committee as we begin our work with the people of this diocese to study our ministry in this place and to move forward into the next phase of diocesan episcopal authority.
We encourage you to take advantage of one of our three pre-convention meetings this year whether you are an elected delegate to convention or not. We will be going over the proposed resolutions, the budget, and the episcopal transition. Please note that this is not a Bishop candidate walk-about and Bishop Waynick will not be in attendance. The three dates are Wednesday, September 27th at 6:00PM at St. Matthew’s, Saginaw; Sunday, October 1st at 4:00PM at Grace, Lapeer; and Wednesday, October 4th at 6:00PM at St. Andrew’s, Gaylord. The Saginaw and Lapeer gatherings will be streamed live and available afterward on our diocesan Facebook page.
All information about the upcoming Diocesan Convention is available on the diocesan website at www.eastmich.org/convention. In accordance with our canons, the other nominations for election will be emailed to delegates and clergy today and any submitted resolutions will be posted by October 10th.
The great work of mission and ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan continues! As always, we are grateful for your continued prayers in the midst of this transition.
The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan
The Rev. Dan Scheid, President; St. Paul’s, Flint
Stephanie King, Vice President; St. Alban’s, Bay City
Beth Barkley, Secretary; Trinity, Lexington
The Rev. Lydia Agnew Speller; Grace, Port Huron
The Rev. Sue Rich; Trinity, Bay City
William Thewalt; St. Christopher’s, Grand Blanc