August 1, 2023
It is with great sadness and in sure and certain hope of the resurrection that I write to tell you of Bishop R. Stewart Wood’s death after a short illness. +Stew served as the IXth Bishop of our Diocese.
Since my consecration, Stew and I spoke several times each year. He had wonderful insights, and was so supportive of me. He was a gem.
I was able to speak with him the day before he died and I told him how much his episcopate meant to me as a young priest. Though we’d never met, I knew that as a lesbian in the early 1990’s that the Diocese of Michigan was a place where I could find employment and be supported by the bishop.
When I told Stew this he was so joyful that his presence had that encouraging effect on a young priest.
When we talked he made clear how much he loves our diocese. And in turn I told him how much we treasured him.
Plans for his memorial service are not quite set, but when they are confirmed I will let you know. The service is likely to take place in New Hampshire.
We will look at the possibility of holding a local service of remembrance as well once details become available.
In the meantime please keep his family in your prayers. They have suffered two great losses in less than six months.
May Stewart, a faithful servant and leader rest in peace and rise in glory.
In Christ’s Name,
The Right Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry
XIth Bishop of Michigan