April 7, 2021
Wednesday of Easter Week
Dear Companions in Christ:
Alleluia, Christ is risen! May the joy and peace of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you this Easter and forever more.
I want to begin this letter by giving thanks. I thank God for you the good people of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, for your faithfulness, for your love of Jesus, and for your bold sense of adventure and willingness to “try things on” for the sake of the Gospel. As we begin to emerge from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, I trust that God’s providence and grace will continue to sustain us and make us the church God needs to serve God’s mission now and into the future. For you, and for God’s love and guidance, I am eternally grateful.
I write today to inform you that I plan to retire in the fall of 2022 in the 13th year of service as your bishop. More specifically, God willing and the Church consenting, the 16th Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut will be ordained on October 8, 2022, at which point I will resign.
My reasons for retiring are twofold. First, by the fall of 2022 it will be time for you to have a new bishop with fresh ideas and vision to lead you forward in the 21st century and who has other gifts and perspectives than I have. Second, while I have loved every minute of being your Bishop Diocesan, the work of a bishop is an arduous and nonstop vocation. I look forward to retiring with energy and in good health both to serve God’s mission in new ways and also to spend time with Kristin, our children, daughter-in-law and grandchild.
Over the next month the Standing Committee, Mission Council, and leadership of our Regions will work together to establish a Bishop Transition Committee as called for in Canon XVI of the canons of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. The Bishop Transition Committee will be responsible for overseeing the transition process, including discerning nominees for the election of the next Bishop Diocesan. To that end, according to Canon III.11.2 of The Episcopal Church and with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee, I now call for a special meeting of the Convention of the Diocese to elect the I6th Bishop Diocesan on May 21, 2022. I will continue to function actively as your Bishop Diocesan and remain the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese until the consecration of the next Bishop Diocesan in October 2022.
Serving as your bishop has been the greatest blessing and honor of my ordained ministry. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we have embraced the challenges and opportunities of this new missional age. I am excited about the work before us, and I very much look forward to our next year and a half together in service to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation.
“Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; Glory to God from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 3:20,21
In the love of Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ph.D.