Fr. Gunter Enters Laughing

From the Diocese of Chicago

Matt Gunter is in an odd place right now. For nearly 14 years he has been the Rev. Matthew Alan Gunter, rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Saturday, Oct. 19, he was elected eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, where, upon receiving formal church hierarchy approval, he’ll become the Rt. Rev. Matthew Alan Gunter.

So what do you call him now? Officially, he is the bishop-elect, but “Last night the vestry decided to call me the Not Quite Right Reverend,” Gunter said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

… [H]e has Anglo-Catholic tendencies, and while there’s a wide mix — theologically and politically — of people at St. Barnabas, “We do incense, we do smells and bells most Sundays; but it is ‘relaxed’ high church.”

Gunter, who has a quick, easy sense of humor, said he liked the walkabouts required of bishop candidates, which included meeting with folks throughout the Diocese of Fond du Lac.

“I was really glad they opted not to have the swimsuit contest,” he said, and then let out a big laugh. “I actually enjoyed the walkabouts because it gave me a chance to get a feel for the place. You pick up the spirit of the place, and consistently in Fond du Lac, the spirit felt good.”

He mused that it is ironic that he, a 1996 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, was called to be bishop of Fond du Lac. Virginia is historically the low church seminary, and Fond du Lac is an historically high church diocese, so there is an irony there, even given my catholic tendencies.”

Read the rest.

Image: Fr. Gunter at General Convention in 2009 • Courtesy Diocese of Chicago

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