Assisting Bishop for Albany appointed

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Dear Friends in Christ,

The Standing Committee is pleased to announce that Bishop Michael G. Smith has accepted a call from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Albany to serve as our Assisting Bishop during the interim period before the election of our 10th Bishop. While the Standing Committee will remain the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese, Bishop Smith will walk alongside us to provide episcopal ministry focusing on Sacramental and Pastoral responsibilities including regular regional Confirmations. Bishop Smith will also assist the diocese with other duties that are reserved for a bishop.

Bishop Smith previously served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota for fifteen years. Since then, he has served as part-time Assistant Bishop of Dallas where he teaches “Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Practices” through the Stanton Center for Ministry Formation and part-time Assisting Bishop of the Navajoland Area Mission where he organizes the Navajoland Iona Collaborative working in the formation of Indigenous leaders from the Four Corners Region and the Diocese of Alaska. Smith jokingly says that his new business card should read, “Have Mitre, Will Travel.”

Smith holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and music from Oklahoma State University and Marymount College of Kansas, as well as graduate degrees in social work and divinity from the University of Oklahoma and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. His Doctor of Ministry degree in preaching is from Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Bishop Smith is the Chair of the Communion Partner Steering Committee, a fellowship of ordained and lay Anglicans from the U.S., Canada, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Indigenous First Nations who are committed to engaging the ministry of reconciliation by helping to keep theological conservatives in their respective provinces and theological liberals in the discernment processes of the Anglican Communion. He was an invited guest and participant in the most recent Global South conferences held in Egypt and Thailand.

An enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma and a Benedictine oblate of St. John’s Abbey, he lives in Minnesota when he is not on the road. His wife, the Rev. Lisa White Smith, is the rector of a parish there and they are the parents of three grown children and grandparents of nine. “I look forward to discerning and supporting what God is doing in the next chapter of the history of the Diocese of Albany,” says Smith.

The Standing Committee believes strongly that Bishop Smith is the right person for ministry in the Diocese of Albany at this critical time. We believe he will be able to guide us through the healing and reconciliation that is needed in the diocese, as well as help strengthen us for the next chapter of our life together. We look forward to Bishop Smith beginning his ministry among us. In fact, Bishop Smith is currently in residence in the diocese until Tuesday. If you happen to see him, please give him a warm Albany welcome.

Faithfully, yours in Christ,The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany