Transition News

Bishop Transition Updates and News


A collect for use throughout the transition process.

O God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come: You have journeyed with your people Israel and we pray you, journey with us now, in this time of episcopal transition and change. Walk beside us on the road that is ahead, calm our fears, awaken our hope, and open our hearts, as together we seek your guidance. Inspire us, and those appointed to search for candidates, to discern your will for the Diocese of Michigan. May we put our whole trust in you as we look to Christ, the great shepherd of our souls; who together with the Holy Spirit is alive and reigns now and forever. Amen.

O Dios, nuestro socorro de tiempos pasados, nuestra esperanza año tras año; has caminado con tu pueblo, Israel y te rogamos camina con nostoros ahora en esta hora de transición y cambio Episcopal. Acompáñanos en este camino delante, calma nuestros corazones mientras juntos pedimos tu guía.  Inspira a nosotros y a los designados a buscar candidatos, distinguir tu querer para el diócesis de Michigan. Tengamos fe completa mientras esperamos en Cristo, el Buen Pastor de nuestras almas, quien con el Espíritu Santo, vive y reina ahora y para siempre. Amen

Update #13, December 10, 2018

The Search and Nomination Committee reports that the extended deadline for applications closed on November 30. The committee met on December 1, 2018. We will be reviewing the applications in the coming weeks and scheduling interviews. Please continue to pray for this discernment process, for the applicants and their families, for the committee, and for our diocese. The collect and timeline for our process can be found on the diocesan website.

Respectfully Submitted,

Eric Williams, Chair of the Search & Nomination Committee


Update #12, October 30, 2018

The Search and Nomination Committee met on October 20 at St. John’s in Plymouth. Our chaplain, the Rev. Karen Lewis, led us in a reflection exercise and we spent the bulk of the meeting discussing and preparing for the interview stage of the process. As we move into this next stage, please be advised that, in order to preserve confidentiality, we will not be sharing any information with the diocese. This includes answering questions about the number or quality of candidates or even generic questions about how it is going. We ask for your understanding and for your continued prayers. In the mean time, please do continue to reach out to encourage potential candidates to apply. Nominations close at 5 pm EST on November 1 and applications close at 5 pm EST on November 16.

Respectfully Submitted,

Eric Williams, Chair of the Search & Nomination Committee

Update #11, October 1, 2018

The Bishop Search and Nomination Committee is very pleased to announce the publication of our diocesan profile, available at the following link:

Episcopal Diocese of Michigan Profile

This profile represents many hours of work on the part of your Search and Nomination Committee. It also represents many conversations with people throughout the diocese, including laity and clergy, members of diocesan committees, and diocesan staff. The committee is deeply grateful to everyone who shared their insights, their concerns, and their hopes with us throughout the last few months. You helped this profile speak with the people’s voice. We are also grateful to Anna Schroen, Director of Communications, who designed the profile and brought to life our words and ideas.

Through this profile, we represent ourselves to potential bishop candidates, so that we may, together, begin the process of discernment. Now, we ask each of you for your help in sharing it far and wide, with friends and colleagues in ministry around the country and around the world, via email and social media.

Personal invitation is crucial if we are to recruit a strong and diverse candidate pool with whom we can move forward in discernment. If you know of someone you think might be a good fit, we encourage you to nominate them using the form linked below. We will contact them to invite them to apply.

Nomination Form

We will receive nominations until November 1 and applications until November 16. Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers as we move into the next phase of the search process.


the Search and Nomination Committee

Update #10, September 25, 2018

The Search and Nomination Committee met with the Rev. Kim Jackson, our search consultant, on Saturday, September 22, for training in interviewing.

We are excited to announce that the diocesan profile will be live on October 1. We encourage members of the diocese to read it and share it as widely as you can. We encourage you to link to it on social media, share it with clergy colleague groups, send it to your Aunt Mabel in Florida. Think about clergy you might encourage to apply–and consider nominating them. We are seeking the broadest possible reach to gain a strong and diverse pool of applicants.

Two other items will also be published on October 1. The first is a form for the Office of Transitional Ministries. This document, commonly known as the OTM Profile, contains the compensation package, links to the diocesan profile, and short answers to questions about the diocese and search process. The second is a job posting on the Episcopal News Service (ENS) site. (If you don’t already subscribe to ENS, it is a very helpful site for news about the Episcopal Church.)

We are grateful to Anna Schroen, Director of Communications, for her tireless and excellent work in design and formatting of the profile. We are also grateful to the Standing Committee and staff for helping us correct errors. We want the diocese to know that in the profile we have endeavored to the very best of our ability to represent and convey the realities, priorities, hopes, dreams, and aspirations that we heard from all of you through the survey and listening sessions we conducted this past spring. In the interests of transparency, we have included in the profile a link to the survey data.

There are two ways for names to be submitted. You may nominate someone else by filling out the nomination form at the end of the profile. We will then contact nominees and invite them to fill out the application form. Nominations are optional. The deadline for nominations is 5 pm EST on November 1, 2018. Individuals may also apply directly by filling out the application form also at the end of the profile. There are five essay questions and a place where they can upload their OTM profile, resume and cover letter. Completed applications are due by 5 pm EST on November 16, 2018.

As we move into this exciting new phase of the transition process, we also invite you to keep praying for us and for all those who will be offering themselves in this journey of discernment. Once November 16 comes, we will be entering a kind of radio silence. We are committed to preserving the utmost confidentiality and will not be sharing any information about the candidates, including the number of applications, or even “how it’s going.” Please respect this confidentiality out of respect for those who will be applying.

Thank you so much for your participation thus far, for your prayers and for your support.


Eric Williams
Chair of the Search and Nomination Committee


Update #9, August 27, 2018

The Search and Nomination Committee held a meeting on August 25 at St. Paul’s Brighton to continue our work on the diocesan profile. We are also working on a form that will be published by the Office for Transitions Ministries at the same time as our profile is released.

Once the profile is complete, it will be shared with the Standing Committee and Bishop, and we are still on schedule to release the profile on October 1. At that point we will be open to receiving names. There are two ways for someone to enter the process.

They may be nominated by another person. The nomination form will be accessible from a link on the profile. This step is optional. Once someone is nominated, we will contact them and invite them to fill out the application.

They may simply apply by filling out the application, which is also accessible from a link on the profile. Any priest in good standing in the Episcopal Church may be nominated or may apply.

We will be accepting applications until November 16.

In the meantime, the committee will be continuing to work. We will welcome back our Search Consultant, the Rev. Kim Jackson, on September 22 for an all-day training in interviewing. That day we will also give our final approval to the profile.

We continue to seek your prayers and support during this exciting period:
Please continue to pray for us and this transition process.
Please also now reach out to priests you may know who would be good candidates and invite them to apply or to allow you to nominate them. We really hope to have a pool of excellent and diverse candidates and we need your help.

Respectfully Submitted,

Eric Williams, Chairperson,

Update #8, August 6, 2018

The Diocesan Profile

The Search and Nomination Committee held meetings on June 30 at St. Paul’s Brighton and July 21 at St. John’s in Plymouth.  We would like to express our appreciation to those churches for hosting us and to all of the churches that hosted listening sessions over the past few months.

On July 14 the diocesan survey was closed.  We had well over 500 responses and thank everyone who took the time to fill out the survey.  Thanks also to the volunteers who entered responses from the paper surveys.

Our task now is to take all of this rich data and to use it in the creation of a profile of our diocese.  We will be working with Anna Schroen, our wonderful Diocesan Director of Communications, to create a web-based profile.  The profile will include the following sections:

In Ages Past
Who We Are
The Road Ahead
Walk With Us/Whom We Seek

We plan to have a draft of the profile by our next meeting on August 25 and to release the profile on September 30.  The profile will also have a link to a nomination form and an application form with questions for potential candidates.

We will welcome back our Search Consultant, the Rev. Kim Jackson, on September 22 for training in interviewing.

We have a few requests for members of the diocese during this exciting period:

Please continue to pray for us and this transition process.

Please send us high quality photographs of ministries in the diocese or your congregation that might be useful in the profile.  (Send to

When it comes time to open the process for nominations, please reach out to priests you may know who would be good candidates and invite them to apply or to allow you to nominate them.  We really hope to have a pool of excellent and diverse candidates and we need your help.

Respectfully Submitted,

Eric Williams, Chairperson

Update #7, July 24, 2018

Thank you from the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee

Many thanks to all members of the Diocese of Michigan who participated in the recent listening sessions and survey about the joys and blessings, challenges and opportunities in our diocese.

The Search and Nomination Committee was gratified by how many people engaged in the process: we couldn’t have done it without you. Over 140 people participated in the general listening sessions, including more than twenty who joined the virtual listening session. Approximately 45 clergy participated in the two clergy listening sessions conducted by our search consultant, Kim Jackson. Members of the search committee also conducted listening sessions with the Standing Committee, the Diocesan Council, the Commission on Ministry, the Trustees, and the diocesan staff and interviewed Bishop Gibbs. The survey, conducted in June and July, elicited more than 550 responses. We have learned so much from talking with you and reading your responses to the survey, and we’re grateful for your participation.

Your prayerful and thoughtful responses will help us develop a truly outstanding profile that will represent our diocese faithfully to the candidates who are discerning whether they are called to become our next bishop. Thank you for your continued prayers and support.


Update #6, June 25, 2018

Take The Diocesan Survey!

The Bishop Search and Nomination Committee for the Diocese of Michigan invites you to take a brief survey about your hopes and aspirations for the diocese. We expect the survey to take about 20 minutes to complete. The results from this survey will help us represent our diocese accurately to those who will read our diocesan profile and prayerfully discern whether they wish to apply to become our next bishop.

If you do not have internet access, please ask your clergy person or parish administrator for a paper version of the survey, complete it, and return it to them so that they can enter the data for you. The deadline for receiving survey responses is July 14.

*NOTE* You may also return it via U.S. mail to Bishop Search and Nomination Committee, c/o The Rev. Tim Spannaus, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 26998 Woodward Avenue, Royal Oak, MI, 48067.

Update #5, June 5, 2018

Our committee last met on June 2 and will be meeting at least monthly through the summer.  We will publish the profile of the diocese by the end of September.

On behalf of our committee, I would like to thank all those who have participated in listening sessions over the past several weeks.  Thanks also to those churches who hosted listening sessions: St. Stephen’s, Troy; Christ Church, Grosse Pointe; St. David’s, Southfield; Holy Faith, Saline; St. Paul’s, Brighton; St. Paul’s, Jackson; and the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. We also held one online listening session.  In addition to these general listening sessions, we have met with the bishop and with the groups that have a special working relationship with the bishop. So far, we have met with the diocesan staff, Standing Committee, Commission on Ministry, and will be meeting by the end of June with the Diocesan Council and Trustees.

All of the notes from these sessions are being analyzed to draw out the themes that are most important in our diocese.  We will use the aggregated information from these listening sessions in the development of the survey, the creation of the diocesan profile and the interview questions for candidates.

We are currently working to finalize the survey, to be released this month, which will also help us discern the issues of most importance in the diocese and in the search for our next bishop.  We are also assembling information about the diocese from parochial reports and from a wide array of resources which describe our region.

Please help us in the following ways:

Please take the survey when it becomes available and share it.  It will be relatively brief and available online.

We ask each congregation to publicize the survey and to make provision for those who do not have access to the internet by printing it and uploading the data from those paper copies. We will be sending a paper copy of the survey along with instructions to each congregation.

We are also looking for good quality photographs which tell the story of important ministries in our congregations and diocese.  If you have photographs you would like to share, please send them to our diocesan communications director, Anna Schroen, at

Please hold our committee, the transition committee and this whole process in your prayers.  We encourage you to use the collect written by our Standing Committee. It can be found at:

Yours faithfully,

Eric M. Williams

Chair, Search and Nomination Committee

Update #4, May 25, 2018

A Report from the Search & Nomination Committee to the Standing Committee

The Search and Nomination committee has been working diligently over the past couple of months. After our initial retreat March 16-17, we have held meetings of our committee on March 25, April 7 and 28, and May 12, and plan to meet at least monthly over the summer.

The Chair (Eric Williams) and Vice-chair (Christine Modey) have held regular conference calls via Zoom with each other and with the Rev. Kim Jackson, our Search Consultant.  Our various sub-committees have also been meeting regularly, often by conference call.

Our most urgent task has been coordinating and leading the listening sessions around the diocese and with key stakeholders.  The parish-focused sessions have  been held or are scheduled in a variety of locations around the diocese on May 12, 15, 20, 24, and June 2, with an additional “virtual” listening session via Zoom for people who were unable to attend an in-person session or who prefer to connect in this way.  Clergy sessions were held on May 18 and 19.  We also have met or are meeting with the diocesan staff (5/8), the Standing Committee (5/15), the Commission on Ministry (5/29), the Bishop (5/30), the Trustees (6/21) and the Diocesan Council (6/23).

The data from these listening sessions will be compiled and will help shape the diocesan profile.  We are creating a survey, which will be distributed in June, to help us gather data as well.  In addition, we are collecting information on the history and demographics of the diocese and material that can help us share the beauty, culture and diversity of our region.

We have also set the date and location for the final candidate retreat which will be held February 17-19, 2019 at Eagle Crest Conference Center in Ypsilanti.

We ask every leader and member of the diocese to assist us in our work by:

Praying for this transition (Don’t forget to use the beautiful collect written by the Standing Committee.)
Attending and promoting the listening sessions. Filling out and sharing the survey when it is released—and encouraging others to do so.

Respectfully Submitted,

Eric Williams, Chair of the Search and Nomination Committee


Update #3, April 25, 2018

Listening Sessions

The Search and Nomination Committee invites all in the Diocese of Michigan to listening sessions. These sessions will gather information from you about the people and places, blessings and challenges, hopes and dreams of our diocese. Your participation is vital as we develop our diocesan profile, a document that provides a vision of who we are today, who we have been, and who we hope to become. The profile will be provided to potential candidates for Bishop of the Diocese of Michigan in the Fall.

Each listening session will be facilitated by members of the Search and Nomination Committee. Participants will meet in small groups to respond to a brief series of questions. Your responses will be recorded anonymously and common themes will be included the diocesan profile.

Clergy are invited to attend one of the following:

Fri. May 18 1 – 3pm, St. David’s Southfield

Sat., May 19, 10 – 12pm, Holy Faith, Saline

All members of the Diocese of Michigan are invited to attend of of the following:

Sat., May 12 9 – 11:30am, St. Stephen’s, Troy

Tue., May 15, 6 – 8:30pm, Christ Church Grosse Pointe

Sun., May 20, 5 – 7:30pm St. Paul’s, Bri

ghton (With YAYA Breakout Session*)

Thu., May 24, 6 – 8:30pm, St. Paul’s, Jackson

Sat., June 2, 9 – 11:30am, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit (With YAYA Breakout Session*)

Register at

Registration is encouraged, but not required

*Though both the May 20 and June 2 events have specific “Youth and Young Adults” breakout sessions, all ages are welcome at all listening events, but youth are specifically encouraged to attend one of the two events with YAYA Breakout Sessions.

Update #2, March 20, 2018

Transitions Committee is Named

With deep gratitude for all those in the diocese who are willing to be part of the episcopal transition process, The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan has selected the following members of the Transitions Committee:



The Rev. Julia Huttar Bailey (Chair) Trinity, Farmington Hills

George Swan III (Vice-Chair), Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit

Karen Brown, Grace, Detroit

Bruce Cann, St., Matthew/St. Joseph, Detroit

The Rev. Steve Domienik, St. John, Westland and Nativity, Bloomfield Twp.

Anthony Estes, Candidate for Ordination, Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills

Sandra Garbovan, St. Michael and All Angels, Lincoln park

The Rev. Keith Mackenzie, Archdeacon (not assigned to a parish)

The Rev. Brian Shaffer, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit

The Rev. Beth Taylor, St. John, Royal Oak

Felicity Thompson, St. Andrew, Ann Arbor

John Wakevainen, Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills

The Rev. Robert Alltop, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit, has been appointed to serve as Chaplain for the Transitions Committee.


Update #1, March 20, 2018

Search and Nomination Committee is Commissioned

On March 16 and 17 the Search and Nomination Committee met for their opening retreat in Ypsilanti.  The retreat was led by the Rev. Kim Jackson, Search Consultant, who will be helping to guide the process over the coming months. The committee will collect information about the diocese to create a profile and call for nominations. After reviewing nominations, including interviews and background checks, and guided by prayer and consultation, the committee will raise up three to five candidates for bishop to be sent to the Standing Committee.

The Rev. Karen Lewis has been appointed as chaplain to the committee.

At the retreat the committee selected its officers. The Rev. Eric Williams was elected as Chair, Ms. Christine Modey, Vice-chair, and the Rev. Dcn. Tim Spannaus, Secretary.

The Search and Nomination Committee received their charge from the Standing Committee which included the following canonical elements:

No qualified candidates shall be excluded “because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age.” (Title III, Canon 1, Section 2)

The Search and Nominating Committee will create and publish a diocesan profile prior to September 30, 2018. The committee will also present a slate of candidates no later than February 27, 2019. While their deliberations will be held in strictest confidence, the committee will communicate regularly with the Standing Committee and with the diocese through the Director of Communications. The Search and Nomination Committee will meet regularly over the coming weeks to design and implement a process for gathering information to be used to create the diocesan profile, which will help candidates understand the Diocese of Michigan. The process will include holding listening sessions in locations throughout the diocese and conducting a diocese-wide survey.  The committee encourages all members of the diocese to participate fully in this process. Please watch diocesan communications for information about locations, dates and times. Please also continue to hold this whole process in your daily prayers.