Bishop Megan at first House of Bishops gathering

Bishop Megan at first House of Bishops gathering

The number women in the House of Bishops continues to increase. Each of these women are serving, have served, or have been elected to serve as bishops in the Church.

Bishop Megan poses with her "cohort," between Bishop Kirk and Bishop Jennifer, the 5th and 6th Bishops of Arizona, respectively, and Bishop Susan, Bishop of San Diego.

Bishop Megan visited Minneapolis last week to participate in the fall meeting of the House of Bishops. The house meets about two times a year and will meet next in Texas in March. While at the meeting, Bishop Megan posted the picture above of "(almost) all the women in the House of Bishops." They represent the changing face of that body. She mentioned that some of the bishops who have been in post for a few years noticed "that the house was singing in four-part harmony during Holy Eucharist. Usually it has been a bass tone that dominates the singing, but there was a noticeable treble presence."

Not only has the house had an influx of women, but they are also seeing many more members who are people of color. "Shannon MacVean-Brown mentioned to me that she was the fifth African-American woman to be elected bishop diocesan," Bishop Megan said. Four of those have been elected in the last 18 months. The Rev. Dr. Shannon MacVean-Brown will be consecrated the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, God willing, on Sept. 28, 2019.

Time spent in the meetings and away from the meetings also let our bishop and others renew and create friendships and collegial relationships that will fuel and foster their time in the episcopate. Bishop Megan was able to renew friendship with the Rt. Rev. Kirk Smith and the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Reddall, pictured above, both with whom she served in Arizona. Bishop Kirk was her bishop when she served as the Canon to the Ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, and Bishop Jennifer was elected to succeed him just last year. They all shared the office for a time in the spring, just before Bishop Kirk retired. Also pictured is the Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, who had been the rector at Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale. "Notably missing from this picture," said Bishop Megan, "is Bishop Nicholas Knisely, who was the dean of Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, and is part of our cohort." The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Knisely is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.

New friendships and renewed relationships were fostered when Bishop Megan and Philip had dinner with colleagues and spouses from their College for Bishops Class of 2020 cohort.

An opportunity for building new relationship was realized when Bishop Megan and her husband, Dr. Philip Traquair, had dinner with the College for Bishops Class of 2020 and their spouses. As mentioned in last week's Diocesan e-News article about Bishop Meyers' visit, the College for Bishops creates opportunities for success by pairing bishop-elects and newly consecrated bishops with coaches, as well as programs to help them learn together with their newly elected and consecrated colleagues.

Reflecting on her time in Minnesota, Bishop Megan said, "It was a rich time in which we learned much from each other. We learned the value of the differences and the harmonies that we hold together."

"Bishop Prior, our host bishop, challenged us in his sermon during the closing Eucharist from Mark 3:34-38. He asked us to look at the issues we face in the House of Bishops and in The Episcopal Church and set them down, so that we can collectively pick up our cross and follow Jesus." The Rt. Rev. Brian Prior is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota.

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