The Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe, Bishop of Kansas since 2004, has written to leaders of the diocese:
It’s hard to judge the right time to leave a great ministry. Leave too early and you haven’t accomplished what God intended. Leave too late and you frustrate the Spirit’s intentions. I believe, however, it’s best to leave a little too early than to leave a little too late.
So, after a period of deep and prayerful discernment, I have decided to accept a new call to serve as Rector of St. Bart’s Episcopal Church in New York City, beginning February 5, 2017.
What makes this leave-taking so difficult is the love and respect I hold for all of you. I have absolutely loved living and working with you as your bishop, and together we have accomplished so many of our dreams. We created a new school for ministry, reinvented our campus ministry programs, and soon we will break ground on a new diocesan leadership center. We created a refugee resettlement ministry and found ways to disagree about any number of theo-political issues without tearing ourselves apart. We have raised up a cadre of gifted younger clergy to serve the diocese, and our spiritual health is sound. I have been privileged to pray at your hospital bedsides, bury your relatives, celebrate your triumphs and find consolation with you in your defeats. I find myself both astonished and humbled by the progress we have made together over the past 13 years, and I am equally astonished and humbled by all that remains to be done.