Bishop Transition Update: Postponing Celebrations

March 17, 2020
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Bishop Ordination moved to June 13;
Retirement Celebration postponed to later date

This spring’s planned celebrations to ordain the 11th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri and say farewell to the 10th Bishop are being rescheduled due to the coronavirus. 

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church announced today that the ordination of the Rev. Deon Johnson as Bishop has been moved from its original date of April 25 to June 13, 2020. 

"We live in hope that a miraculous end to the COVID-19 pandemic will occur,” said the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry. “We must, however, recognize the reality of these extraordinary times and the burdens they place upon us.  Our plans may need further adjustment as circumstances develop.”

(Read the Presiding Bishop’s full statement here.)

The Presiding Bishop’s office has been in conversation with Bishop Wayne Smith and Bishop-elect Deon Johnson to revise plans for the ordination. Because it is impossible to know exactly what the situation of the coronavirus outbreak will be in June, we are making provisional plans at this point. The ordination will be held at Christ Church Cathedral and will likely be radically scaled back from original plans. The Bishop Transition Committee will announce exact details as we get closer to the date.

Presiding Bishop Curry still plans to attend the June 13 event and we will be livestreaming the service so everyone in the diocese will be able to watch. Once this worldwide health crisis is over, we will bring the diocese together for a proper celebration of our new bishop. 

In the meantime, Bishop-elect Deon will remain Bishop-elect but will, in effect, be the administrator of the diocese. Bishop Smith will officially retire April 25, but, with Standing Committee’s approval, will continue to work on a contract basis as our Bishop, overseeing sacramental and canonical duties reserved to a bishop until the June 13 ordination. 

Plans to celebrate Bishop Smith’s leadership and ministry on March 28 have been postponed. The Bishop Transition Committee will announce new plans to say farewell to our bishop once this crisis is over. 


Glory to God, whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.                          

--- Ephesians 3:20, 21


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