Committee Formation Information

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The Standing Committee oversees the process of episcopal transition, taking on a role that is very similar to the role of the vestry in a rector search. The Office of the Bishop will not be involved in the search process for a new bishop, except to help occasionally with some of the administrative tasks involved in the process of transition.

To carry out much of the work involved in seeking, electing, and consecrating a new bishop, the Standing Committee is forming two committees – the Committee for the Nomination of a Bishop, hereafter referred to as the Search and Nomination Committee, and the Transitions Committee. Each committee will have an equal number of clergy and lay members, and will be broadly representative of the diocese. As you will see in the information provided regarding the two committees, each committee has a very specific set of responsibilities and requires a specific skill set for its members.

All those who apply for either the Search and Nomination Committee or the Transitions Committee must keep in mind that the process of episcopal transition must be centered on prayer and discernment. The process is not about advancing a particular interest or agenda, or seeking candidates who are a good personal fit with those involved in the search, nomination, and election process. If the diocese is to have a successful episcopal transition, it must be clear to all involved in the process that there is only one goal: discerning God’s will for the Diocese of Michigan.

If, after reading the information below, you have questions regarding serving on either the Search and Nomination Committee or the Transitions Committee: please feel free to reach out to Ann Putallaz, President of the Standing Committee, at



After prayer consideration of the many applications received, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Michigan has selected the Search and Nomination Committee. Membership on this Committee is limited, by diocesan canons, to a maximum of 14, with equal representation of clergy and lay members required. This limitation means that many applicants with strong qualifications could not be selected. However, there will continue to be a wide variety of opportunities in this two year Episcopal transition process where all can contribute their gifts and talents.


With deep gratitude for this diocese’s willingness to be part of the process of episcopal transition,
The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan has selected:


Anthony Cartagena, St. Michael and All Angels, Lincoln Park
Jeff Faistenhammer, Saint James, Grosse Ile
Kristin Kahrs, St. Mary’s In-the-Hills, Lake Orion
Christine Modey, St. Clare of Assisi, Ann Arbor
Josephine Powell, Christ Church, Detroit
Clement Rajaratnam Prabakaran, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit
Kathleen Walworth, St. Michael & All Angels, Cambridge Junction
RaeLee Baxter, Emmaus
Veronica Dunbar, Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Detroit
Maryjane Peck, St. Michael’s, Grosse Pointe Woods
Nikki Seger, St Michael’s Episcopal Church, Lansing
Susie Shaefer, St. John’s, Clinton
Timothy Spannaus, St. John’s, Royal Oak
Eric Williams, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Rochester




What are the responsibilities of the Transitions Committee?

The focus of the Transitions Committee is on events planning and management, and on hospitality. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Conducting the walkabouts (the tour of the diocese by the candidates for bishop, so that those in the diocese have a chance to meet and interact with the candidates)
  • Assisting as necessary with the Special Convention to elect the new bishop
  • Managing details for the ordination/consecration of the new bishop (selecting and transforming the space for the consecration, etc.)
  • Planning a farewell event for Bishop Gibbs
  • Helping to create a smooth transition for the new bishop (home, schools, etc.)
  • Pastoral care and thanks to the candidates not chosen

Given its responsibilities, the Transitions Committee will be most active from February 2019 through February 2020. However, some tasks, such as finding the appropriate venue for the consecration of the new bishop, will begin immediately.

What are the qualifications required of members of the Transitions Committee?

Specific skill sets that should be represented on the Transitions Committee include:

  • Experience in event planning and management
  • Hospitality (sensitive to candidates’ needs during the walkabouts)
  • Creative – good at dramatic display
  • Good networkers
  • Ability to deal calmly with unexpected events
  • Ability to conduct business by email and manage documents online

More general, but equally important, qualifications for members include:

  • Ability to devote sufficient time and energy to the committee
  • Organized – known for getting things done and completing tasks on time
  • Collegial – plays well with others – knows how and when to compromise
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Emotionally and spiritually mature – a strong prayer life
  • Enthusiastic and energetic – will give their best to the process

How do I apply for the Transitions Committee, or nominate someone else?

The application form for the Transitions Committee can be filled out and submitted online. There is a link to the application form here. There is also a direct link here:

If you know someone who you believe would be a good candidate for the Transitions Committee. the best procedure is to approach them about the Committee, and ask them to read the material and discern whether or not they wish to apply. If they do, they should fill out the online application form. We do need an online form from all those who wish to be considered for the Transitions Committee.

What is the deadline for applying for the Transitions Committee?

The deadline for applying for the Transitions Committee is March 14, 2018. The Committee members will be announced on April 5, 2018. There will be a mandatory retreat for members of the Transitions Committee on April 13-14, 2018. This retreat will also be attended by members of the Standing Committee and the election consultant, The Rev. Kim Jackson. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Gibbs will join the participants on Friday evening for dinner and to deliver welcoming remarks.

Both committees sound as though they would make good use of my gifts. Can I apply to both?

The Search and Nomination Committee and the Transitions Committee have very different tasks and require different skill sets. If you are interested in being involved in the process of episcopal transition, we ask that you consider your gifts and strengths, spend time in prayerfully discerning which committee would make the best use of your unique skills, and then apply to that committee. However, if your process of discernment leads you to believe that your gifts and talents are a good fit for both the Search and Nomination Committee and the Transitions Committee, you may apply to both committees.

What if I have questions regarding serving on either the Search and Nomination Committee or the Transitions Committee?

Feel free to reach out to Ann Putallaz, President of the Standing Committee, at

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