Update on the Search for the Northern Staff Canon

Dear Courageous Disciples,

We are eager to call the new Canon for the Northern Collaborative, Beloved Community, and Creation Care – an essential member of our diocesan staff team and for this crucial ministry area of our dioceses!

While we have had some interest, we have yet to call the right person into this key position. However, especially in its support for the Northern Collaborative, filling this position as soon as possible with a qualified, future-focused candidate is a priority of our Joint Standing Committees.

The priest called into this role will coach, encourage, and equip congregations to align with the mission and vision of the dioceses in their local contexts of ministry working closely with the Canons serving the Central and Southern Collaboratives, our whole bi-diocesan staff, and all diocesan leaders. They will visit faith communities within their jurisdiction on Sundays and at other times and provide pastoral and other support for the collaborative’s clergy and lay leaders. With a bi-diocesan-wide focus on Beloved Community and Creation Care, the Canon will coach to inspire and resource congregations to practice inclusion, reconciliation, and active ministries addressing issues of racial and other discrimination, and the care of all creation and our island home.

The search process – updated since our change in the episcopate – will follow these steps:

  • Applications will be first received by Eastern Michigan Standing Committee President, Barbara Ilkka (St. John’s, Saginaw)
  • Application is forwarded to bi-diocesan Transition Officer, the Rev. Canon Tracie Little, for initial vetting and reference checks
  • Application is forwarded to assisting bishop, the Rt. Rev. Skip Adams, for a bishop-to-bishop call (if they come from another diocese, this is a reference check with their current bishop)
  • Applications are forwarded to the bi-diocesan Search Committee, who will communicate with the applicant for additional questions, conduct Zoom interviews, and make a recommendation for finalist(s) to the Joint Standing Committees and Assisting Bishop.
  • Full background check is initiated.
  • Joint Standing Committees and Assisting Bishop conducts final interview with finalist(s).
  • Joint Standing Committee and Assisting Bishop, with support from the Transitions Officer, negotiates and drafts Letter of Agreement with the finalist.
  • Once the Letter of Agreement is finalized and signed, we will share news of a new call broadly and with joy!!

Canon Little is working with the Joint Standing Committees on a renewed push to advertise this position. We are asking all interested candidates to apply by the end of the year, December 31, 2023. Click here to access the Office of Transition Ministries (OTM) posting.

Those with networks in the greater dioceses and Episcopal Church, please prayerfully consider who you might invite to consider applying for this life-giving and impactful position. Please share on social media and in clergy professional groups – we could use your help spreading the word about ministry in these amazing dioceses and in this beautiful peninsula! And please continue to pray for this process, for our dioceses, and for the priest who will step into this call.

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a Canon for these dioceses, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, page 818)

Yours in Christ,

Barbara Ilkka
Standing Committee President
Diocese of Eastern Michigan

The Rev. Anne Schnaare
Standing Committee President
Diocese of Western Michigan