News Updates

Bishop Search News, May 2018

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Bishop Search News, May 2018

The Nominating Committee (NC) met by phone on May 15 to review the results of the recent online survey conducted across the diocese and the ongoing parish listening sessions. The Nominating Committee thanks everyone who has participated.

In all, 554 lay members and clergy took part in the survey. An executive summary of the results is posted on the diocesan website. To date, listening sessions have involved over 450 people in 24 parishes; they continue through June.

NEEDED: Please submit pictures from your congregation (buildings, people, events, etc.) for inclusion in the diocesan profile by emailing them to .The NC plans to meet by phone on the third Wednesday of each month through the summer as it builds the profile.

The Standing Committee (SC) has met monthly to continue its role of oversight for the search. The following is a summary of work to date.

  • Coordination continues with the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for Pastoral Development (in the Presiding Bishop’s office), and the Rev. Ann Hallisey, Bishop Search Consultant, to ensure that we carry out the search process in good order.
  • The SC drafted a Letter of Agreement for the position of Assistant Bishop during the time between Bishop Brookhart’s resignation and the election and consecration of a new Bishop Diocesan.
  • Dates are set for a combined Electing Convention/Diocesan Convention: July 25 (evening arrival) through July 28, 2019, St. James in Bozeman. During this time, we will elect the new Bishop, carry out regular Diocesan Convention business, and celebrate Eucharist together.
  • The SC appointed the Rev. Rick Johnson (St. Peter’s, Helena), Darien Scott (St. Peter’s, Helena), Vicki Van Rennselear (St. James, Bozeman), and Holly and Gary Swartz (Holy Spirit, Missoula) to the Transition Committee, which handles all the various parts of transition associated with the Bishop Search and charged them to begin planning the celebration of Bishop Brookhart’s ministry among us at this year’s Diocesan Convention.
  • The SC began “exit interviews” with our Bishops and Diocesan Staff to learn from their experience, consider present needs, and hear any suggestions for consideration as we move forward. To date we have interviewed: Bishop Brookhart, Bishop Gallagher, Barb Hagen (Canon for Finance and Administration), and Jill Sallin (Administrative Assistant). Remaining interviews are being scheduled.
  • The SC received a request from the Nominating Committee to expand its number in light of its workload. Nancy McManus (Billings Deanery alternate) was added to fill a vacancy at a prior SC meeting. We approved the following individuals at our May meeting: The Rev. Stephen Day (Emmanuel, Miles City, and Church of the Ascension, Forsyth from the Billings Deanery), Laura Catlin (St. James, Bozeman, Bishop Tuttle Deanery), and Hope Stockwell (St. Peter’s, Helena, Bishop Daniels Deanery). Ms. Stockwell will prepare regular updates from the NC for the SC to ensure coordination and consistency in communications to the diocese.

We commend the work of the NC specifically with regards to the listening sessions being held in every congregation: for the care with which you prepared these sessions, and for your time and effort in making them happen.


Faithfully submitted on behalf of the Standing Committee,

The Rev. Terri Ann Grotzinger
Standing Committee Member

Update from Standing Committee on the Search for the Next Bishop of the Diocese of Montana - Jan. 31, 2018

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 January 31, 2018 

The search for the next Bishop of the Diocese of Montana is now underway.  As per the Canons of the Episcopal Church, the Standing Committee (SC) of the diocese has oversight responsibility for the search process.  We are working with the Rev. Ann Hallisey as our direct consultant from the Episcopal Church as well as the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley of the Presiding Bishop’s Office of Pastoral Care, both of whom guide dioceses involved in such search processes.  The SC has been doing initial work to get things underway and wants to inform you about it. 

Initially we thought that the search process could be completed with the election of a new bishop by Diocesan Convention in October, 2018.  After further analysis and the realization of how much needed to be done, a decision was made to extend the search timeframe with the Consecration of our 10th Bishop on December 7, 2019, when the Presiding Bishop can be here.  This will mean hiring a Bishop to serve part time as determined by the SC between the time Bishop Brookhart resigns Nov. 1 of 2018 and the election of our new Bishop.  The SC recognizes the need to manage the search process to enable broad participation by congregations while keeping the financial, pastoral, and administrative resources of the diocese in mind. 

The SC directed the deaneries to elect representatives to serve as the Nominating Committee.  Over the next several months, this committee will be gathering information through qualitative research:  in February and March we will conduct a diocese-wide survey; then we will conduct a series of listening sessions throughout the Diocese from April to June.  Everyone is invited to participate in the survey, and in the listening sessions.  Soon the SC will establish a Transition Committee to celebrate Bishop Brookhart’s time among us these past many years, arrange “meet and greets” of potential candidates across the diocese, assist with the transition of our new Bishop into our midst, and plan the Consecration. 

We recognize the need for regular communications across the diocese to help everyone stay informed and able to plan accordingly.  To that end, the SC will begin to have regular updates posted as we go along.  If you have questions about the search process, please direct them to the SC through the Rev. Donna Gleaves (SC President) at and she or another member of the Standing Committee will respond to you.  Thank you!