The Diocese of Western Kansas is accepting names until Dec. 15 in its search for the diocese’s sixth bishop. The Rt. Rev. Michael Milliken has served as fifth Bishop of Western Kansas since 2011, and has announced his plan to retire at the end of 2018.

The diocesan profile says:

We are not a large diocese, at least not in numbers. But we are dedicated and hard-working people. While we are certainly open and desiring of someone who will help us to grow and be our best, we are looking for someone who will also appreciate us as we are and recognize the gifts and talents we have to offer.

Sustainability and growth is important to us, and we desire a visionary bishop who will help us look ahead, plan for the future, and grow our congregations. Many of our churches are located in small, rural, and agrarian communities. Aging populations further contribute to congregations that are dwindling in size. But these small churches are faithful and committed. Our new bishop will excel in small church leadership and appreciate the value that these churches bring to our diocese.

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Spiritual growth is also important to us. We are looking for a faith leader who has been adequately prepared for the role through study, life experience, and his or her own spiritual life. Our new bishop will have the ability to study the Bible and help us apply it to our lives in faithful and meaningful ways. He or she will have a deep personal faith and devout prayer life.

Our new bishop will be an effective administrator, with excellent listening and communication skills. We are fortunate to have a skilled and knowledgeable Diocesan Administrator already working in our Diocesan office—we hope that our new bishop will be open to working alongside her. We are looking for a bishop who will lead from within, with wisdom, humor, and love. At the same time, we pray that our new bishop will also be self-aware enough to know the limits of his or her gifts and time, and will enjoy empowering both clergy and lay leaders to lead, teach, and guide our churches.

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