Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Bishop's Writing / Enews March 2024


Dear Friends in Christ,

I’m pleased to report that the Rev. Michael Laver has agreed to serve a two-year term as Dean of the Southwest District beginning April 1. Michael follows the Very Rev. 
Virginia Mazzarella, who recently retired as Rector of Zion Church, Avon. He also serves as Rector of St Michael’s, Geneseo, and Chair of the Commission on Ministry. 
Michael joins the Rev. Leslie Burkardt (Roc),  Ken Pepin (Mon), Troy Preston (SE), and Gretchen Ratterree (NE) as Deans of the Districts.

I’m also pleased to report that the consent process for Bishop-Elect Kara Wagner Scherer is moving well, and I anticipate we will hear good news about that process in early to mid-April. A majority of bishops with jurisdiction and of Standing Committees must consent to the election. Once the consents have been received, the Bishop-Elect will 
be able to sign a letter of agreement with our Standing Committee and the transition process will formally begin. Work on the consecration liturgy has already begun, as has assisting the Bishop-Elect and family to find appropriate housing. The Bishop-Elect will be among us beginning June 1, and she will attend the General Convention as a 
member of the House of Bishops with seat and voice, but no vote. 

I recently attended the Spring Meeting of the House of Bishops at Camp Allen, outside Houston, Texas. Our Spring Meeting usually has a retreat format, and this year we 
spent a good bit of time reflecting on our vocation as “Bishops in a Time of Transition.” There are many new bishops in the House of Bishops. 36% of the bishops are now 
women. The number of bishops of color is rapidly increasing. So, it was very helpful for bishops new and old to consider how we are doing in our ministries in this time.

We were asked four questions: Where are you in the arc of your episcopate? What are the presenting issues for your ministry now? How are you responding to those 
issues? What gives you joy?

In panel discussions and small group work, the bishops considered these questions and many more. I came away feeling enriched by the presence of so many new 
bishops, by a different generational vibe, by new visions for the church, and by enthusiasm for change. I think the community of bishops is moving in a healthy direction.

The bishops also discussed the upcoming election of the next Presiding Bishop. Michael Curry’s term will end next All Saints’ Day, and the election of his successor will 
occur at the General Convention in June. The list of candidates will be announced soon. There is tremendous gratitude for the ministry of Presiding Bishop Curry. There is 
also the clear sense that the next Presiding Bishop will have to address not only the priorities of creation care and racial reconciliation, but also the restructuring of the 
Church Center and church staff. We need a church structure capable of addressing and adapting to the changes we are all experiencing. The Presiding Bishop is elected by the House of Bishops and confirmed by the House of Deputies.

Presiding Bishop Curry continues to recover from his several surgeries. Please keep him and our whole church in your prayers as we approach the General Convention.

May God bless you as we celebrate Holy Week and Easter.