Electing Convention Recap
The Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr. and the Standing Committee are excited to announce that on, Saturday, June 1st, The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan elected The Rev. Dr. Bonnie A. Perry, Rector of All Saints’, Chicago, as its 11th bishop diocesan. Perry was elected on the fifth ballot of the Special Electing Convention. She received 64 clergy votes and 118 lay votes. A minimum of 55 clergy votes and 94 lay votes were necessary for election on that ballot.
Perry is the first woman and first openly gay priest to be elected bishop since the diocese was formed in 1836. This also marked the first time in the history of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan that the slate of candidates was comprised entirely of women.
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all who took part in this historic election, especially our candidates who so generously gave of themselves to this discernment process. We ask that you join us in praying for each candidate and their families. Statements from each candidate follow here:
The Rev. Dr. Grace Burton-Edwards
I will forever be grateful for the holy privilege of sharing in this season of discernment with you. The Diocese of Michigan is blessed with faithful, creative, resilient people. I am inspired by your witness in the past and present, and I look forward to the exciting future you and Bishop-elect Bonnie will build together, with the help of God. I trust she was chosen by the Holy Spirit, and I am grateful you all listened. I give thanks for the blessing of getting to know Ruth and Paula and for their gifts of leadership, wisdom, and courage. Thank you to the Search Committee, Transition Committee, Standing Committee, and walkabout hosts for your prayerful and generous hospitality. Thank you to the diocesan staff for your support and help throughout this process. And thanks to Bishop Gibbs for his steady and loving leadership. The Diocese of Michigan has been and will continue to be in good hands – now in the hands of a kayaker! I look forward to watching you grow together like trees firmly planted as you follow the way of Jesus together.
The Rev. Canon Paula Clark
I wish Bishop-Elect Bonnie Perry, her spouse Susan, and all the faithful people of the Diocese of Michigan God’s abundant blessings in this new, historic chapter of your ministry together. Bishop-Elect Perry is a strong, visionary woman of God who will lead with a passion toward building relationships while building up the Body of Christ in and outside of the Diocese of Michigan. I learned much from her during our time together in the discernment process, and am confident she will guide the diocese into a future bright with hope and promise for the expansion of ministries in the Michigan branch of the Jesus Movement and beyond.
The Rev. Paula Clark
The Rev. Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley
With thanksgiving for the movement of the Holy Spirit, I offer my joyful congratulations to the Great Diocese of Michigan on the election of your 11th Bishop, the Rev. Dr. Bonnie Perry, and I send my warmest congratulations to her wife, Susan, and their family. I am deeply grateful to have been part of this historic election of your first female bishop and our first lesbian diocesan bishop. I praise God for this momentous election.
It has been a deep honor to walk this way with you all and with my sister candidates. I am grateful to the Search and Transition Committees for creating such a holy process and to Bishop Gibbs, and his wife, Karlah, for their warm hospitality to us during the process. I have learned much, and I have begun new friendships that I hope to carry into the future to which God is calling me.
Know that you will all be in my prayers in the weeks and months ahead as you begin an exciting new season of ministry with your Bishop-Elect.
The Transitions Committee of the Diocese of Michigan