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Bishop Roundup: Idaho, Springfield, W. Virginia, Iowa

Brian Thom


The Rt. Rev. Brian J. Thom, XIII Bishop of Idaho, has called for the election of his successor, touching off a process that will culminate in the consecration of the next Bishop of Idaho on June 25, 2022.

In a letter to the diocese, Thom said that one day earlier, June 24, 2022, he will celebrate his 35th anniversary of ordination. “By that day, I will have served thirty of those years within the Diocese of Idaho,” he said. “Acknowledging the blessing of that much time, it is easy to see that all the good that I am, you have fostered; all the rest that I am, you have graciously overlooked. ” Thom was consecrated as diocesan bishop in October 2008.

The Diocese of Idaho encompasses 26 congregations in southern Idaho, and one in Wyoming, less than a mile from the border. The diocese operates the High Desert School for Ministry, part of the Iona Collaborative, in conjunction with the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. It also includes the Paradise Point Episcopal Camp, established in 1935.

Daniel Martins


The Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, the XI Bishop of Springfield, will begin a “modified sabbatical” on February 1, leading up to his formal retirement at the end of June.

In a letter to the diocese, Martins said the schedule had been negotiated with the Standing Committee, with which he has been in conflict. Episcopal News Service reported in June that the Standing Committee had grown dissatisfied with the fact that Martins was residing primarily in Chicago, outside of the diocese, although they previously had granted permission for the unusual arrangement.

Martins told the diocese that his wife, Brenda, was experiencing “a steady downward slide” of her cognitive health, and can no longer be left alone, making it difficult to return to the diocese every weekend to conduct diocesan business.

“During my sabbatical, the Standing Committee will oversee the routine administrative and financial duties that I would ordinarily handle,” Martins wrote. He will retain authority over ordination, discipline and deployment of clergy. After he retires at the end of June, the Standing Committee will be the ecclesiastical authority for the diocese until a new bishop takes office. It generally takes about 18 months to install a new bishop. No timeline for the search has been announced.

Martins is secretary of the board of directors of the Living Church Foundation, Inc.

West Virginia

The Rt. Rev. W. Michie Klusmeyer, VII Bishop of West Virginia, has restarted the search for a bishop coadjutor, who would serve with Klusmeyer for a period of time and become bishop diocesan when Klusmeyer retires. He originally announced the search in October 2019, with an election expected in late 2020, but the pandemic has disrupted the timeline.

The new timeline calls for nominations to be accepted beginning in February; announcement of a slate of candidates in mid-summer; an election at a special convention in September or October; and consecration of the new bishop coadjutor in February to April of 2022.

Klusmeyer, who has not announced a retirement date, has served as bishop since October 2001. The diocese includes 65 congregations throughout the state of West Virginia.

Alan Scarfe


The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, IX Bishop of Iowa, and the Standing Committee announced a three-month delay in the process of electing a new bishop, in the hope that the pandemic will have abated enough to allow physical meetings with candidates. The election, originally scheduled for May 1, has been postponed to July 31, and the consecration from September 18 to December 18. Scarfe has also pushed back the effective date of his retirement until December 18.

Atlanta, Southeast Florida

Two bishops have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Leo Frade
Rob Wright

The Rt. Rev. Rob Wright, X Bishop of Atlanta, announced on Facebook that he contracted the disease, and is recuperating at home. Wright, 56, said “By the grace of God and the expertise of the medical community, I expect to return to health in the upcoming days.”

The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, retired III Bishop of Southeast Florida, is hospitalized in Miami with COVID-19, the diocese announced on Facebook. Frade, 77, served as a bishop for 32 years, first as the II Bishop of Honduras from 1984 to 2000, then as Bishop of Southeast Florida from 2000 to 2016.


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