The Bishop Search Committee is Announced!

Dear Diocesan Family,

Since West Missouri’s bishop-search website went live in late August, 70 people from across the diocese have applied to serve on the Bishop Search Committee, Transition Committee, and Consecration Committee. For the Bishop Search Committee, the application deadline was Oct. 1; and since then, the Standing Committee has been assessing the applicants based on the guideline we named in the committee’s position description: that we will seek diversity representing our diocese, including geography, congregational size, age, urban/rural context, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity/language, disability, and ministry order.

As you may remember, the Bishop Search Committee will review our diocese’s life and ministry, prepare a profile of the diocese and the characteristics being sought in a bishop, educate the diocesan family about a bishop’s ministry and the election process, recruit and receive nominations, and present a slate of three to five candidates for bishop to the Standing Committee for election by the Diocesan Convention. We’re grateful today to announce the members of the Bishop Search Committee. They are:

  • Regina Berens, St. Mary Magdalene Church, Belton
  • Hayley Cobb, Christ Church, Springfield
  • Minda Cox, St. Alban’s Church, Bolivar
  • Curtis Hamilton, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City
  • Cosette Hardwick, Christ Church, St. Joseph
  • The Rev. Rita Kendagor, St. Andrew’s Church, Kansas City
  • The Rev. Steven King, St. Paul’s Church, Kansas City (Committee Chair)
  • Dr. Victor Matthews, St. John’s Church, Springfield
  • Amanda Perchall, Trinity Church, Lebanon
  • The Rev. Isaac Petty, St. James Church, Springfield
  • The Rev. Susan Roberts, St. Luke’s Health System, Kansas City
  • The Rev. Bock Slabach, St. Mary Magdalene Church, Belton
  • The Rev. John Spicer, St. Andrew’s Church, Kansas City
  • The Rev. Kim Taube, Christ Church, Boonville

In addition, the Rev. Donna Stanford of St. Peter & All Saints’ Church, Kansas City, will serve as Bishop Search Committee secretary.

The Transition Committee will lead the process once the slate of candidates is announced. This group will introduce the candidates to the diocese, shepherd the candidates as they visit West Missouri, work with the Convention Planning Committee to conduct the election of the bishop at the 2024 Diocesan Convention, and be pastorally present to all the candidates following the election. Co-chairing the Transition Committee will be Canon Shirley Bolden, St. Augustine’s Church, Kansas City, and the Rev. Collin Larimore, Grace Church, Carthage. Serving as its secretary will be Julia Taylor of Christ Church, Springfield.

Once a bishop is elected at the 2024 Diocesan Convention, the Consecration Committee will take the lead in planning the liturgy and other events related to our new bishop’s consecration, as well as tending to the new bishop and family members, the presiding bishop and staff, visiting bishops, and honored guests onsite. Co-chairing the Consecration Committee will be the Rev. Adam James, St. Andrew’s Church, Kansas City, and the Rev. Barbara Wegener, Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, Kansas City. Serving as its secretary will be the Rev. Vicky Anderson of Trinity Church, Independence.

Finally, we’re grateful to announce who will serve in one more essential role throughout the bishop-search process: the Rev. Meg Rhodes, rector of St. Anne’s Church, Lee’s Summit, will be the chaplain to all three committees.  

The next step in this process will take place at our Diocesan Convention next month. One of the resolutions before the convention will establish the process and rules for searching for, electing, and consecrating the ninth bishop of West Missouri, and we encourage all delegates to read the resolution carefully as they prepare for convention service.

Then, the weekend following Diocesan Convention, the work of the committees will begin. The Standing Committee (as elected at convention), the Bishop Search Committee, and the chairs of the Transition and Consecration Committees will gather for a retreat with our two search consultants, the Rev. Canon Brian Nordwick and the Rev. Shug Goodlow. In addition to team building, the retreat will orient participants to the work of the bishop-search process. The participants also will take part in antiracism training offered by our diocesan Racial Reconciliation Committee. (The search website includes the timeline for the full search-to-consecration process.) 

We’re so grateful to all who applied. Know that we aren’t done putting the full team together; we’re still receiving applications for service on the Transition and Consecration Committees through Dec. 31. So, if you hear a still, small voice urging you to consider serving, please complete an application. And if you know of just the right person for one of those committees, please urge that person to apply.

As we move into this next phase, please continue seeking God’s blessing on our search process – both in your congregation’s worship and in your own prayers.

"O Creator God, giver of every good gift, look graciously on us in the Diocese of West Missouri and guide us as we discern our call of a new bishop. O Jesus, be present in our discernment, and lead us to a shepherd who will invite us to live out the Gospel every day. O Holy Spirit, inspire us with your wisdom, and kindle our hearts with the fire of your love, that we may be renewed as we prepare to welcome the ministry of our next bishop. This we ask trusting in You. Amen."

Bless you,
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of West Missouri

Dr. Jeremy Chesman, St. James Church, Springfield
Alexandra Connors, St. Paul’s Church, Kansas City
The Rev. Larry Ehren, St. Mary Magdalene Church, Belton
The Rev. Ted Estes, St. Phillip’s Church, Joplin
Marsha Patterson, Christ Church, Springfield
Eric Rhodes (Vice President), St. Anne’s Church, Lee’s Summit
The Rev. Brittany Sparrow Savage, St. Paul’s Church, Kansas City
The Rev. John Spicer (President), St. Andrew’s Church, Kansas City


For questions about the nomination process or other details regarding the bishop search, contact us by clicking the button below.

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