In Bishop Wayne Smith’s letter below, he makes his announcement to the Diocese which sets in process the election and call of the 11th Bishop of Missouri:
April 27, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It is with a whirlwind of emotions that I write this letter, for no
ministry have I loved more than serving as the Tenth Bishop of the
Episcopal Diocese of Missouri. Even so, the time has come for me to set in
motion a process for electing and calling the Eleventh Bishop. In a
lengthy meeting yesterday, I announced this decision to the Standing
Committee, who from this time forward will have complete responsibility
for the process. The Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for the Office for
Pastoral Development, was present to present a framework for this season
ahead. I have called for the election of my successor during the 2019
meeting of Diocesan Convention, November 15-16. The ordination of the new
bishop will be sometime in the spring 2020, probably in April. My
resignation will become effective on that date.
I am young and healthy, and I am not at all certain that my active
ministry will come to an end with my retirement from Missouri. I am indeed
open to new possibilities. It is clear to me, nonetheless, that it is time
for a transition in episcopal ministry in this venue. Conversation with my
wife, Debbie Smith, and our family, consultation with colleagues in this
Diocese and with other bishops, and extensive pondering and praying have
brought me to this point. I am at ease with the decision.
It is usual and customary for a bishop, writing this sort of letter, to
claim that his or her tenure as bishop is not over, that there is still
time left (in my case, two years) for the ministry to continue. This much
is true, and I pledge to remain faithful in my duties in providing
oversight for the Diocese of Missouri, and to take my place in the
councils of the wider Church. I realize, however, that this announcement
alters the trajectory of our work together, and that emotionally,
spiritually, and realistically, attention turns to the next chapter in the
Diocese’s life, both in its continuities and its necessary changes. I
pledge to honor that shift, and support your work in making it.
I write this letter with some sadness and some relief-but most of all with
deep gratitude for the privilege of serving as your bishop these past
sixteen years-with a couple more yet to come.
Ever faithfully, in Christ
The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith
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