My Sisters, Brothers, Siblings,
The Episcopal Church proclaims that “[b]y virtue of Baptism, all members of the Church . . . shall . . . seek to resolve conflicts by promoting healing, repentance, forgiveness, restitution, justice, amendment of life and reconciliation.” The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland Jr., along with the people and leadership of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan and the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan, have spent the last year working both individually and corporately toward this high calling. While I have held out hope that this difficult and holy work would result in Bishop Hougland’s return to service with your two dioceses, mutual discernment has revealed a need to end your relationship as bishop and dioceses. I affirm both the integrity of your discernment and your decision growing out of it.
As we turn toward the future, I offer my blessing upon your two great dioceses as you continue your commitment to creatively explore collaborative ministries across diocesan lines. This bold experiment in mission is surely born of the Spirit and offers a hope-filled model for the rest of the church. Keep up the good work; continue striving toward healing and reconciliation; hold one another in prayer. And remember that God is with you always.
Keep the faith,
The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church