Bp. Thomas Ely to Retire

Diocese of Vermont

The Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Ely, Bishop of Vermont since 2001, announces his retirement:

After several months of prayerful discernment, I have decided that it is time for me to bring this season of mission and ministry in my life and yours to its conclusion, and to open the door for the next season in the life of the Episcopal Church in Vermont, as well as in mine. To that end, I have informed the Presiding Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Vermont of my decision to resign this ministry as the 10th Bishop of Vermont, and begin the “retirement” phase of my journey, no later than September 30, 2019. By that date, I will have served as your bishop for over 18 years and as a priest for nearly 39 of my 67 years of life. There are other interests and ministries to which I am feeling called to devote my time and energy while my health and stamina are still good, including family, community theatre, various justice ministries and a bit more golf.

It has been over 18 years since the Episcopal Church in Vermont has experienced a transition in episcopal ministry. I have every confidence that you will do it well and faithfully. The Standing Committee recently met with the Right Reverend Todd Ousley, from The Episcopal Church Office of Pastoral Development. Among his many ministries, Bishop Ousley is charged by the Presiding Bishop to offer support and guidance to dioceses during times of transition in the episcopate. There is a wealth of “best practices” upon which to draw and I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit will guide you well in the months ahead. You will hear more from the Standing Committee about the process going forward. Others in the diocese will also play important roles in this transition and I pledge you my full support and cooperation, especially when that means “getting out of the way!”

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