Bishop Skip Adams Returns as Assisting Bishop

Dear Courageous Disciples,

Our dioceses are no strangers to engaging big questions together and taking on challenges. In early September, our bishop provisional was restricted from ministry and resigned from office. Our Joint Standing Committees once again took on the responsibility of the ecclesiastical authority of our dioceses.

Since that moment, the people and communities of our dioceses have continued thriving and growing mission and ministry. We’ve gathered for our fourth joint convention, focused on our life together as “innovative, collaborative, courageous disciples.” We’ve prayed for one another as friends and family, we’ve expressed anxieties about this new season, we’ve grieved the loss of another bishop so quickly and painfully, and we’ve looked ahead to our next leg of the journey together, building bridges across our body from the sunrise shores of Lake Huron to the sunset shores of Lake Michigan.

As we move forward, we write with exciting and hope-filled news: the Rt. Rev. Skip Gladstone Adams will formally return to our body as Assisting Bishop, expected to serve from now until the calling of a new bishop provisional or bishop diocesan.

Many will remember Bishop Skip’s compassionate, playful, and prayerful ministry amongst us as Assisting Bishop during our previous bishop suspension in 2021. His time with us was cut short due to limitations on his time set by eligibility requirements of the Church Pension Group. Our Standing Committees and CFO are attentive to the restrictions of CPG to prevent a future complication related to his continued eligibility as a retired bishop. Also for this new term, our dioceses once again required a new thorough background and reference check process. That process has been completed and produced no challenges.

“Assisting Bishops” are already-consecrated bishops (meaning, they’ve served in another diocese before) and are called to serve in a specific role as determined by the ecclesiastical authority. The areas that our Joint Standing Committees have specifically asked Bishop Skip to attend to include:

  • Pastoral care and support to clergy, leadership, and laity of the dioceses, specifically attentive to our reality of having two recent situations of bishop discipline
  • Support, wisdom, and advice to diocesan leadership
  • Represent the dioceses in the House of Bishops and in councils of the wider Episcopal Church
  • Preside over diocesan liturgies: confirmations, ordinations, celebrations of new ministry
  • Consultation and support for diocesan staff
  • Assistance with elements of clergy transitions and discernment processes: bishop-to-bishop calls, consent to Letters of Agreement, letters dimissory, selection of postulants and candidates for ordination, supervision of deacons (in consultation with archdeacons and staffs), clergy licensing, disciplinary matters

His service with us is part-time, about 12-15 hours per week. He will be primarily remote, serving with us from his home in New York state while traveling in occasionally for some in-person gatherings. The costs related to this position are shared equally between the dioceses.

A short bio for Bishop Skip is included below this note. Please join us in warmly welcoming Bishop Skip back to our dioceses. His email addresses are and

Yours in Christ,
The Joint Standing Committees

Barbara Ilkka, President
St. John’s, Saginaw

The Ven. Linda Crane
Grace, Port Huron

The Rev. Don Davidson
Canonically Resident, Eastern MI

Jelecia Geraghty
St. Paul’s, Flint

Neil Hargrave
St. John’s, Dryden

The Rev. Jerry Lasley
St. Christopher’s, Grand Blanc

The Rev. Anne Schnaare, President
Grace, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Valerie Ambrose
Retired, Grand Rapids

Freya Gilbert
St. Paul’s, St. Joseph

The Rev. Molly Bosscher
St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids

Carole Redwine
St. Philip’s, Grand Rapids

Ellen Schrader
Grace, Traverse City

Fred Skidmore
St. Andrew’s, Grand Rapids

The Rev. Eileen Stoffan
St. Paul’s, Muskegon

Photo: Bishop Adams leads prayer during a bi-diocesan gathering at St. Andrew’s, Gaylord in 2021.


The Rt. Rev. Gladstone “Skip” Adams was the tenth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, where he served from 2001-2016. He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and is a graduate of Towson University and Virginia Theological Seminary. In his ordained life, he served churches in New York, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Maryland before his episcopacy. He is committed to the Church’s role in speaking out and advocating around environmental and social issues in response to Jesus’ command to love God and one’s neighbor as oneself.

Bishop Adams served as Bishop Provisional with the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina from September 2016 – December 2019. Among other things, he led the diocese through an extended and painful court process concerning diocesan property, names, and trademarks after the former diocesan bishop orchestrated a wide-reaching schism from The Episcopal Church in 2012. In 2021, he served as Assisting Bishop with the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan.

Bishop Adams enjoys fly-fishing, reading, music, camping, and canoeing. He and his wife, Bonnie, a registered nurse, live in Upstate New York. They have three adult children – Peter, Stephen, and Emily – and two grandchildren, Greyson and Hazel.


Saturday, December 2nd from 10 am – Noon via Zoom

As Christians and as Episcopalians, our faith is deeply rooted in God’s love for all creation as proclaimed in scriptures and as expressed through our practice and worship. We are called to attend to the needs of both faith and creation.

On Saturday, December 2nd from 10 am to Noon, we will be joined by the Rev. Jerry Cappel, D. Min., Episcopal priest and director of the Center for Deep Green Faith to consider ways that individuals and churches can expand creation care beyond committee actions, material stewardship, and personal life adjustments, onto a more integrated expression of faith and whole church life. How might faith communities embody and bear witness to the inclusion of all creation in their lives of faith, worship, and witness? How can our choices and practices better express a gospel that welcomes and heals all of creation?

Participants will explore these questions in terms of bible and theology, prayer and worship, community and hospitality, and witness and service.

We invite participants joining our Zoom gathering individually or as parish small groups participating together.

This online event is hosted by the bi-diocesan Creation Care Task Force.

Questions about this event? Please contact Katie Forsyth, Canon for Evangelism and Networking, at or


The Rev. Jerry Cappel, D. Min. is a priest serving St. James Episcopal Church in Shelbyville, KY and as director of The Center for Deep Green Faith.
Grounded in theology and contemplative practice, the Center cultivates the growth of deeper green faith for individuals and their faith communities. Their offerings blend eco-theology with eco-spirituality, combining biblical studies and other forms of learning with contemplative practice to deepen faith, broaden solidarity with the oppressed, and foster responsible living on Earth.

While ecumenically minded and welcoming of interfaith work, the Center is solidly grounded in Christian tradition. We believe a deeper appreciation of the gospel of God’s all-encompassing salvation for creation renews our faith and more deeply connects us to the larger web of life. We are convinced that a crisis of spirit and faith lies at the root of our current global perils of environmental degradation, climate change, violence, and injustice.


There is no cost to attend this workshop. Please RSVP to receive your Zoom link.


Welcome the Season with Joyful Anticipation!

For most of us – especially children – the month of December is full of joyful expectation. We are people in search of hope and joy throughout the season of Advent. The season can be full of surprises and wonder. The story of Christmas is one full of anticipation; from the stars in the heavens to the shepherds in the fields, a sense of magic is in the air.

Families with children and youth on their own are invited to join the bi-diocesan Children and Youth Formation Team for a weekend retreat welcoming the Advent season at Camp Scottie in Howard City the weekend of December 1-3. There will be time for hiking outdoors, cozy winter fires, songs, fellowship, crafting and learning together.

Lodging will be in community bunkhouses with all meals are included. Youth in middle and high school are welcome to come for the weekend to retreat without their parents under the supervision of our formation team.

Questions about this event? Please contact McKenzie Knill (Director of Children, Youth, and Young Adult Formation) at or, or the Rev. Beckett Leclaire (Youth Missioner for Admin) at or


December 1-3, 2023*
Check-in: Friday, 4:30pm
Depart: Sunday, 2:00pm

Camp Scottie
8181 Newcosta Ave
Howard City, MI 49329


Elementary aged children with their families.
Middle and High-School Youth attending without a parent present.

The cost to attend has been subsidized to $25 per person.
Children under five years old can register for free.

The deadline to register is November 20th. Space is limited and may fill before the deadline.

Charge Youth Event 2023

A Youth Event for 6-9th Graders at the Great Wolf Lodge

Episcopalians in 6th-9th grades from around our dioceses are invited to join our Lutheran neighbors from Living Water Ministries for a weekend of fellowship, prayer, fun and community at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.

The first wave of Generation Z is growing into adolescence and many of the children in this generation simply don’t have a grasp on who Jesus is and why he is relevant in their everyday lives. Charge is an event that attempts to bridge this gap by providing a powerful faith community where students can grow in faith, engage in service, and develop leadership skills, all while enjoying the amenities of Great Wolf Lodge. Participants at Charge are equipped and empowered to learn, lead, laugh, and love as an expression of their faith in Jesus. It is our hope that participants depart energized to transform the world in the name of Christ!

Worship, small groups, small group time, workshops, recreation options, and an outdoor campfire camp-style are all elements of this powerful gathering of community!

Questions about this event? Please contact McKenzie Knill (Director of Children, Youth, and Young Adult Formation) at or, or Jeff Brown (Youth Missioner for the Central Collaborative) at or


November 10-12, 2023

Check-in: Friday, 6:30pm
Pick Up: Sunday, 1:00pm

Great Wolf Lodge
3575 US-31
Traverse City, MI 49684


The cost to attend is $150 per participating youth and $100 per adult chaperone and includes accommodations, meals, and all materials.

Please register by November 1st.



Take a step in exploring how God may be calling you

Have you ever felt a nagging deep inside, wondering about whether you may be called to ordained ministry? Have you been fighting that feeling? Have others in your life told you you should consider becoming a deacon or priest? Are you interested in exploring a call to ordained ministry?

Then this is the weekend for you.

The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, in collaboration with the Academy for Vocational Leadership and the Iona Collaborative from the Seminary of the Southwest, is extending an invitation to come together for a weekend of discernment. This event is a first step into considering formal discernment for Holy Orders and is open to all.

Questions about this event? Please contact the Rev. Canon Tracie Little, Canon for the Southern Collaborative and Adult Formation, at 810-300-9177 or


December 8-10, 2023

Arrival: Friday, 5:30pm
Departure: Sunday, about 3pm

St. Francis Retreat Center
703 E. Main Street
Dewitt, MI 48820


Participants are asked to cover the cost of their room, $98. All other costs and materials are covered by the dioceses.

Please register for the Discernment Weekend by November 15th.

Naucratius Hog Camp

March 6-10, 2024 in Clinton, Louisiana

Join the Order of Naucratius for the second annual Hog Camp hunting retreat! We will immerse ourselves in the care of creation by learning ethical methods to hunt, butcher, process, and cook wild game from God’s abundance.

Hog Camp is intentionally designed for a broad range of hunting skills. We turn the Brady Property into a Hunting Village where we eat great food, laugh, learn, pray, and hunt. We also welcome participants who chose NOT to hunt! Because of the number of participants and our varying skill levels, this will be a very controlled hunt (loner cowboys and rogue participants should find another trip.)

Participants will have the opportunity to hunt each day (like fishing… there are no guarantees and “success” does not mean “harvest”). We have professionals who will help teach us how to break down a wild hog and turn it into food. Friends and first-timers are welcome.

Accommodations will be rustic. This is a camping trip! You should expect to pack along a cot and/or a tent. We have a hay loft for sleeping, access to two bathrooms, a port-a-john, and one shower. All food is provided.

Participants must find their own transportation to and from our site. If you are flying in, we recommend flying into Baton Rouge.

All ages are welcome to participate. Participants under 18 must be accompanied and supervised by their responsible adult.

Space is limited and may fill before the deadline!

Questions about this event? Please contact the Rev. Christian Baron at 512-826-9657.


March 6-10, 2024

Arrive: March 6 at 3pm Depart: March 10 at 3pm

The Brady Property

7017 Folly Brown Road Clinton, LA 70722


All participating hunters must acquire a Pig License from the State of Louisiana prior to the retreat. This requires the applicant to prove they’ve completed a hunter’s safety certification. This can either be a pre-existing certificate from their home state or the hunter must complete the course prior to applying (and this takes time!). The cost to purchase the pig license is $65.

The cost to participate in Naucratius Hog Camp is $500/hunter and $350/non-hunter. This includes food but does not include airfare or hunting license.

The deadline to register is February 14th. Space is limited to 25 participants and may fill before the deadline!


October 11th, 5:30-8:30pm at Mediator, Harbert

The Episcopal Church is known for being a strong voice on issues of social justice in the United States and throughout the world, speaking out for the stewardship of creation, the dignity of all human beings, and calling for an end to violence and hateful rhetoric. As we approach the 2024 presidential election in the midst of deepening political polarization, some may be asking: what is the church’s role?

Church of the Mediator in Harbert, in partnership with the diocesan offices, will present an evening discussion on Christianity, social justice, and the political sphere on Wednesday, October 11th from 5:30-8:30pm. The panel discussion will be recorded and available for later viewing. Due to bandwidth constraints, this event cannot be livestreamed.

This gathering is an opportunity to discuss the differences between “politics” and “partisanship” and to consider our Christian responsibility in seeking social justice. Participants will first gather for Holy Eucharist, then will share in a potluck dinner. Afterward, a panel of Episcopalians will lead our conversation. We will be joined by:

  • Tim French, senior warden of Mediator, Harbert, facilitating
  • The Rev. Darlene Kuhn, Rector of Mediator, Harbert
  • Rob Burgess, member of St. Augustine of Canterbury, Benton Harbor
  • The Rev. Jay Johnson, rector of All Saints, Saugatuck and interim coach for Creation Care/Beloved Community for the dioceses
  • Vicki Schroeder, member of All Saints, Saugatuck, will also offer a video reflection about her experience working as a co-convenor of End Gun Violence Michigan.

Photo: Deputies to the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church gather for a protest and prayer service at the Hutto Detention Center near Austin, Texas.

Questions about this event?
Please contact the Rev. Darlene Kuhn at or at 269-469-6794



October 11, 2023

Episcopal Church of the Mediator
14280 Red Arrow Highway
Harbert, MI 49115


There is no cost to attend this event. To help us plan for space, please RSVP by October 1st. Attendees who miss this deadline are still welcome to attend.

Participants are asked to bring a dish for the potluck dinner.

Unable to attend in person but would like access to the recording? Please complete the registration form selecting this option and the recording will be emailed to you directly when it’s available.

Celebrating 50 Years of Change – Women in Ministry

The 2023 Joint Gathering of the DOK and ECW

The Daughters of the King and Episcopal Church Women invite all women across Eastern and Western Michigan to join them for their special 2023 joint gathering, taking place on Saturday, November 4th at St. John’s, Mount Pleasant. You do not need to be a current member of the DOK or ECW to join this exciting gathering.

They will be screening The Philadephia Eleven, a new documentary telling the story of the first women to be ordained in The Episcopal Church as we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this transformational occasion next year in 2024.

A panel discussion will follow with several clergy women sharing their experiences, including some who were ordained in the early days of women’s ordination. Together, we will consider our experiences in the church as women, the historic and current challenges, and the changes we’ve experienced over the last fifty years since the historic ordination in Philadelphia. A Q&A will follow the panel discussion.

The Order of the Daughters of the King is an order for women in The Episcopal Church and through our ecumenical relationships. They focus on prayer and service.

The Episcopal Church Women empower women in the church to carry out Christ’s work throughout the world, especially in the work of healing, justice, and peace, and upholding the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion.

Questions about this event?
Please contact one of the following: Jeaninne Totzke at or Marilee Roth at



November 4, 2023

St. John’s Episcopal Church
206 W Maple St.
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858


The planning team secured a block of rooms (single, queen-size beds) at a discounted rate of $159 for those requiring or preferring overnight accommodations on Friday night. Reservations for the hotel must be made separately from the registration for the event.

Comfort Inn & Suites and Conference Center – Mount Pleasant
2424 S. Mission Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

The deadline to reserve a hotel room is October 3rd. To reserve, call 989-772-4000 or visit their website at this link.


The cost to attend is $20 per person, payable online or by check at the door.

The deadline to register is October 15th.

Applications Open for Official Youth Presence


On behalf of the youth formation team of the Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan, I write to invite young people from our dioceses to apply to serve as part of the Official Youth Presence at General Convention next summer.

Episcopal teens who will be ages 16 to 19 in June 2024 are invited to apply to become part of the 81st General Convention’s Official Youth Presence, a competitive and impactful experience in our church. Members of the Official Youth Presence have seat and voice on the floor of the House of Deputies and can testify at hearings held before and during General Convention.

“I am delighted to invite young Episcopalians to apply for the Official Youth Presence,” said House of Deputies President Julia Ayala Harris. “The voices, experiences, and viewpoints of our young people are invaluable as we seek to discern God’s calling for our church. Through the Official Youth Presence, we create opportunities for our youth to engage actively with legislative committees, learn about the governance and polity of The Episcopal Church, and build relationships across the church.”

Up to two youth from each of the church’s nine provinces will be selected to participate in the Official Youth Presence from June 20-28, 2024, in Louisville, Kentucky. Youth who are selected must also attend orientation and training in Louisville from February 16-19, 2024. The Episcopal Church budget covers travel, lodging, and meals for those attending orientation and General Convention.

The General Convention, which normally meets every three years, is The Episcopal Church’s governing body. It is composed of the House of Deputies, with nearly 900 clergy and lay deputies elected from the church’s 108 dioceses and two area missions, and the House of Bishops—with around 140 active and retired bishops.

Applications and nomination forms—in English and Spanish—can be found online, as well as additional criteria and information for potential applicants. The deadline for applications and nominations is November 17, 2023. All applicants must identify a non-family member nominator who can complete an online essay nomination form by November 17, 2023.

Questions about the application process should be directed to Myra Garnes, Officer for Youth Ministries for The Episcopal Church. If we can support you locally, please contact me at the information listed below.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Radhajyoti Kaminski
Regional Youth Missioner – Northern Collaborative
The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan |

Ecumenical Endeavors

A number of important dialogue meetings are set to occur this fall. These dialogues will serve as important stepping stones for resolutions that will be brought to the 81st General Convention of The Episcopal Church in June of next year. The Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, which will compose the proposed resolutions coming out of these dialogues, will meet in Baltimore in October.

The United Methodist-Episcopal Church Dialogue will meet in Atlanta in November to discuss the full communion proposal “A Gift to the World: Co-Laborers for the Healing of Brokenness.” The United Methodist Church, a world-wide communion, has been split over issues of human sexuality.

The Lutheran-piscopal Coordinating Committee will discuss a proposal for the sharing of deacons between the two denominations, which builds upon the historic full communion agreement between the two denominations, “Called to Common Mission.”

The Presbyterian-Episcopal Church Dialogue will meet this fall to follow up on the 80th General Convention’s reception of the Episcopal-Presbyterian Agreement on Local Sharing of Ministries.

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the United States of America (ARCUSA) will meet in November via Zoom. The meeting, entitled “A New Journey in Reconciliation,” will focus on ecological, racial, and ecclesiological reconciliation.

The Moravian-Episcopal Coordinating Committee will meet in September. In addition:

The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC) met in Geneva, Switzerland (June 21-27), marking the first central committee meeting under the newly installed General Secretary Jerry Pillay. The meeting also commemorated the WCC’s 75th anniversary with a special worship event.

The United Church of Christ (UCC) met for its 2023 General Synod in Indianapolis (June 30-July 4). The Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson was elected as the denomination’s general minister and president, making her not only the first woman, but the first Black woman to hold the title in the UCC’s history. Previously, Thompson was both director of Global Ministries and our colleague as an ecumenical and interreligious officer for the UCC.

The Moravian Church’s Northern Province Synod in Bethlehem, PA (which includes congregations in Canada) approved in June, a full communion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church of Canada. This
completes the full communion circle with the “Churches Beyond Borders” resolution approved at General Convention last July.

“The Philadelphia Eleven,” a new documentary directed by Margo Guernsey and Nikki Bramley about the first eleven women to be ordained as priests in The Episcopal Church, is set to premiere September 30 at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia (the same church where the eleven ordinations took place in 1974).


The Rev. Mike Wernick
Ecumenical and Interreligious Officer
the Episcopal Dioceses of Western and Eastern Michigan