April 2, 2019
We bring you greetings from our neighbors in the Diocese of Western Michigan, who have gathered over the past few months for three regional conversations in response to
issued at our last convention - to invite them into a period of conversation about deepened relationship and to share a bishop (the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.) during that time.
We were pleased to be invited to attend and speak at these gatherings as representatives from Eastern Michigan - sharing our story as a community, detailing the process of discernment we underwent over the past year and a half, and offering our prayers and support as they took part in the day-long conversations.
The regional meetings also included teaching from Bishop Hougland on discernment,
a short video from Bishops Bill Franklin and Sean Rowe
on the process underway in Western New York and Northwest Pennsylvania, and quick information and questions with their diocesan chancellor on canons and with Canon Katie Forsyth on her experience as a shared staff member. They began their afternoons with prayer and bible study and then spent time in conversation using the same format as Eastern Michigan (what might we gain if we say yes, what might we lose if we say yes, what might we gain if we say no, what might we lose if we say no).
We have not deviated from the expected timeline we detailed at convention in October. Here's where we are:
Now that the three regional conversations have concluded, the Western Michigan Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, and Bishop will meet in two weeks, on April 13th. At this meeting, the bodies will study the feedback recorded from these community gatherings. They will talk further and spend time in prayer, and are expected to offer a decision regarding our invitation by the conclusion of their meeting.
We will communicate with you as soon as we hear the results of that conversation.
The Standing Committee continues to be grateful for your continued prayer, faithfulness, and patience and for the leadership of our Bishop Provisional, Cate Waynick. Please join us in praying for our friends and neighbors to the west, as they consider and respond to our invitation.
Yours in Christ,