Bishop Transition Updates

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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:
  1. Please continue to pray for us and this transition process.
  2. Please send us high quality photographs of ministries in the diocese or your congregation that might be useful in the profile.  (Send to
  3. 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.


Click here for a printable, large-print version of the survey

Click here for a printable, standard print version of the survey


*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

An Update from the Search & Nomination Committee

Update as of 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:

  1.    Please take the survey when it becomes available and share it.  It will be relatively brief and available online.
  2.    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.
  3.    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
  4.    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

Update as of May 25, 2018

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:

  1. Praying for this transition (Don’t forget to use the beautiful collect written by the Standing Committee.)
  2. Attending and promoting the listening sessions.
  3. 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

Diocesan Listening Sessions

All members of the Diocese of Michigan are invited to attend one of the listening sessions hosted by the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee. If you are a member of a congregation in the Diocese, this means you. At these sessions you will be invited to share your thoughts about the characteristics of the next bishop of our diocese. You will also be asked to discuss in facilitated small groups your thoughts and your hopes and dreams for the future of our diocese.

Your voice is important! This is your most significant opportunity to help shape the diocesan profile which we will be using to tell our story and to attract potential candidates for bishop. In June we will also be sending out a survey and we ask you to fill it out and to encourage others to do so as well. The Search and Nomination Committee is committed to creating a profile that represents our diocese fully and fairly, but we can’t do it without you.
All members of the Diocese of Michigan are invited to attend one of the following:


**NEW VIRTUAL SESSION** on Monday, June 4,  7 – 9pm, Join this session by using this link:

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


The Search & Nomination Committee

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.

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