The Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., Consecrated as 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan


Saturday, September 28, 2013. It began with a Native American invocation.  Banners and clergy representing nearly every parish in the Diocese of Western Michigan processed in as a 150-member combined Diocesan Choir led nearly 1000 people seated in the Van Noord Arena in song.  Then The Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., former rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, North Carolina, was presented by lay and clergy members of the Diocese to the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, for ordination and consecration as the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan.

At the Liturgy of the Word, Sudanese drummers heralded the Gospel procession.  The Rt. Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina, challenged us to be witnesses in an impassioned sermon that rocked the arena. Then the Presiding Bishop, acting as the Chief Consecrator, with Bishops Michael Curry, Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church, and Donald Kreiss, Bishop of the Southeast Michigan Synod of the ELCA  serving as Co-Consecrators, were joined by Bishop Edward Lee, 7th Bishop of Western Michigan, Bishop Robert Gepert, 8th Bishop, and 9 other bishops from across the United States and the Dominican Republic in the laying on of hands, consecrating The Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan.

Bishop Hougland’s vestments and the symbols of his office were gifted and presented by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Whayne Hougland, Sr., his wife Dana, and daughters Erin and Leigha, the people of the Diocese of Western Michigan, St. Mark’s Church in Coldwater, and the bishops of the other three Episcopal Dioceses in Michigan. The Diocesan crozier and prayer book were presented by the retiring Rt. Rev. Robert Gepert.  The Presiding Bishop then presented the new Bishop with a Bible, charging him to “Feed the flock of Christ committed to your charge, guard and defend them in his truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments.”

Following the vesting, the new Bishop was greeted with a loud round of applause.

A Eucharist followed the consecration, with Bishop Whayne Hougland serving as Chief Celebrant.  Following the service, a reception was held in Hoogenboom Center.

A  DVD of the entire service will soon be available for a cost of  $10  – see the Diocesan website at for details.


It’s Official: Majority of Consents Received!

The Office of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church has notified the diocese that Bishop-Elect Whayne Hougland has now received the required majority of consents in the canonical consent process, officially enabling his ordination and consecration as the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan. View the Church’s press release by clicking here.

The Canons of the Episcopal Church require the consent of the majority of bishops with jurisdiction, and from a majority of standing committees of the Church, before a bishop can be consecrated.

The Consecration service will be held on Saturday, September 28th, at 1:00 p.m. in the Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids. (see map here)

It’s not too late to make plans to attend this important event in the life and history of the Diocese of Western Michigan! All are invited – no tickets needed to attend, no charge for the reception! However, as a reminder to help the Transition Team plan for the Consecration and reception that follows, we request that all parishes which have not already done so please contact Tom Perrin, Transition Team co-chair, at and let us know how many people from the parish are planning to attend.

Information on many aspects of the consecration can be found on the diocesan website by clicking here. Thank you!

Consecration Details: Schedule of Rehearsal Times, etc.

The Consecration of the Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., as the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan will take place at the Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College at 1:00 pm on Saturday, September 28th.

The Consecration of our new bishop is a service for the whole diocese! It is our consecration service as well as Whayne’s, and we hope all appreciate how vital our role is, both in attendance and in worship. As the excitement builds leading up to the Consecration, the Transition Team wants to provide you with a number of details that we hope will be helpful in your planning:

Parking and Directions:
Driving directions to Calvin College (3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI), and a campus map showing parking lots near the Van Noord Arena can be found by clicking here.  (Bus drop-off/pickup, and bus parking areas are also noted on the map.)

Rehearsal/Arrival Times for Participants:
In recent weeks an email was sent to every parish in the diocese, inviting every congregation to be involved in the liturgy for this joyous event, including individuals willing to serve as acolytes, vergers, choir members, etc. Thank you to all who have responded. The scheduled rehearsal time for each group is listed below. (Note: a light lunch will be provided for those groups which must be present for rehearsal prior to 11:00 a.m.)

9:00 a.m.: Vergers
9:30 a.m.: All Deacons, Presenters, Bishops, Testimonial Readers, Presenters of Vestments, Choir

10:30 a.m.: Lectors, Acolytes, Eucharistic Ministers, Oblation Bearers, Altar Guild, Communion Servers

The scheduled rehearsal times for other groups are as follows:
11:30 a.m.: Ushers
12:00 noon: Banner Bearers (be sure to bring your stand!) Stands will be placed at 12 noon, and then Banner Bearers will gather in a designated area to
prepare for their procession.
12:00 noon: Clergy – go directly to Vesting Room 210.

Parish RSVPs:
If you are taking a count of people from your parish who plan to attend the Consecration (which would be very helpful for the Transition Team in its planning), please send that number to Tom Perrin at as soon as possible. Thank you!

Banners: Parishes and Diocesan organizations are encouraged to bring their parish/organization banner and the stand for it (stands are required!). Arrive at 12 noon and you will be directed where to place your stand in the Arena. Please email Jason Pancost at if you plan to bring your banner and have not already communicated that to him.

Diocesan Choir:
Plans are well underway for the massed Diocesan Choir. All parish music directors and/or clergy should have received an email earlier in the Summer (June) from Dr. Stephen White, Director of Music for the Consecration.

There is still room for tenors and basses. If you are not currently signed up, please contact Dr. White at as soon as possible. All of the soprano and alto slots are filled; any persons interested in singing in those sections (who are not already signed up) will be added to the alternate list and contacted should a spot become available.

Regional rehearsals: are taking place September 8th (Battle Creek), 14th (Mt. Pleasant) and 21st (Wyoming) for the Consecration on September 28th. If you would like more information regarding these rehearsals or the music for this service, please contact the Consecration’s music director at

Consecration Day Choir Schedule:
9:30 a.m. Choir arrival – in designated robing area
10:30 a.m. Sound check/rehearsal in the arena
11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided) – in robing area
12:20 p.m. Move to seating area
1:00 p.m. Consecration begins

What to wear: All choir members should plan to wear their normal choir robes (cassocks, surplices, etc.) If your choir does not normally wear robes, please contact Dr. White and he will attempt to arrange for those singers to borrow for the day.

Clergy Dress: Cassock, Surplice, Red Stole
Clergy, please note the following request from the Presiding Bishop’s office: In procession, bow “in your hearts and not physically” in order to keep the processions moving! And a request from the Master of Ceremonies: please resist the temptation to stop and visit with members of the congregation during the procession should it “stall”. Thank you!

Vesting Rooms
Acolytes: Room 204
Choir: TBA
Clergy: Room 210
Bishops: Rooms 235 and 237

Assistance will be provided in locating your vesting room. Just ask in the main lobby when you enter.

Youth Invited to Meet Presiding Bishop

The Transition Team of the Diocese has made it possible for the youth of the Diocese of Western Michigan to spend some time with Katharine Jefferts Schori, the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.  It will be a short visit following the consecration of Whayne Hougland, Jr., our Bishop-Elect, but it will still be a wonderful opportunity.

Please remember that EVERYONE is invited to attend the consecration, a festive and exciting time in our Diocese.

We hope to see you all there!



Attending The Consecration Of Our New Bishop? Here Are Driving & Parking Directions And Information on Lodging

The Consecration of The Rev. Whayne Hougland as our 9th Bishop will be held at the Van Noord Arena on the campus of Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids on September 28, 2013. If you would like driving directions and parking information for the Arena, please click on this link:  Campus Map (2 pg) .  Note: The parking map is on the second page of the document.

The Transition Team has also reserved several blocks of rooms at discounted rates in three Grand Rapids area hotels for out of town guests who want to attend the Consecration. The hotels are listed below. Each party that wants to reserve one of these rooms must call the hotel themselves on a first come first served basis.  The rooms are held under the group name: Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Note the cut-off date for making reservations is a different date for each hotel.  Be aware that the weekend of Sept. 27-29 is also Art Prize weekend in Grand Rapids, and hotel accommodations might be harder than normal to obtain.

Country Inn - East Beltline and I-96; 1-800-830-5222
10 rooms on hold until Aug. 27th;
Room rate: $109.00 (1 King Bed);  $119.00 (2 Queen Beds)
Hilton Grand Rapids Airport - 4747 28th St.; 1-616-957-0100
10 rooms on hold until Sept. 13th
Room rate: $89.00
Best Western Hotel - 5500  28th St.; 1-866-460-7456
10 rooms on hold until Sept. 16th
Room rate:  $69.97
Questions? Contact us at

Ecclesiastical Authority Shifting to Standing Committee August 7, 2013

Bishop Gepert’s retirement officially begins on September 1, 2013, but he and his wife, Anne, will be in the process of moving to their new home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania prior to that.  The Bishop has advised the Standing Committee* that he will be physically absent from the Diocese as of August 1, 2013 and will turn over ecclesiastical authority to the Standing Committee commencing on August 7, 2013 until the consecration of Bishop-elect Hougland, on September 28, 2013.

We wish Robert and Anne a happy, healthy retirement, and offer our thanks for his 12 years of service and ministry to the Diocese of Western Michigan.

*The members of the Standing Committee are:

The Rev. Dr. Robert Schiesler, President

The Rev. Gregory Brown

Mr. Don Davies

The Rev. Paula E. Durren

Ms. Judy Fleener

Ms. Janet MacKenzie

The Rev. Cindy Nawrocki

Mr. Brian Tilman

Bishop-Elect Posts New Video Message

Bishop-Elect Whayne Hougland has just added a new video update on the transition process as he prepares to become our 9th Bishop. Find out what’s been happening behind the scenes by following this link to the video (just click on the link!):

Help Us Welcome Our Bishop-Elect in Style!

Becoming a bishop is an expensive venture!!  In addition to finding a new home, moving, getting to know Western Michigan, and learning about all the parishes and people of our diocese, there are all those new liturgical vestments that are required, such as a rochet, chimere, cope, and mitre, chasuble and stole, to say nothing of new purple clergy shirts and cassocks!  And don’t forget the crozier, pectoral cross, Bishop’s ring, etc.   The Diocese does not own these symbols of the Office to pass on to the new bishop (we have an historic crozier, but it is not “fit” to travel each week to parishes); each bishop must purchase his or her own.

The Transition Team budget includes a small amount that can be used toward these items, but it is neither sufficient nor intended to cover more than a just a few.  A fund has been established for those who wish to make a donation to help offset the cost of these new vestments and accoutrements for our new Bishop. It is very traditional that individuals and parishes from the diocese be given the opportunity to make a donation towards these items. Remember, it is just that: an opportunity, not a requirement.

If you would like to help us welcome The Rev. Whayne Hougland, Jr., as our new Bishop-Elect by offering a thanksgiving contribution to cover some of the costs of these liturgical items, please send your check, made out to EDWM (with Bishop Vestments in the memo line), to:

The Episcopal Center
535 S. Burdick St., Suite 1
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Consecration of our 9th Bishop will be September 28, 2013

The Rev. Whayne Hougland, Jr., will be consecrated as the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan, (pending the approval by a majority of Standing Committees and Diocesan Bishops of The Episcopal Church), on Saturday, September 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm.  The Consecration will take place at Calvin College’s Van Noord Arena, 3201 Burton St., Grand Rapids. [Link to campus map at ].  A reception will follow.

The Presiding Bishop and Prelate of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be the chief consecrator, and we look forward to welcoming her for her very first visit to Western Michigan.  The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina, will preach.

Please plan to attend this joy-filled event.  If you have already made other plans for that day, cancel them and come to the Consecration instead! We hope to see many representatives there from every parish in the diocese to help welcome our newest bishop.  The arena has plenty of seating and the Transition Team has reserved blocks of rooms in three area hotels so there will be ample space for all who wish to attend what will surely be a wonderful liturgy and celebration.  Parking at the arena is limited, so arrive early.  Better yet – follow the lead of several parishes and charter a bus!

Bishop-Elect Pays a Visit

Whayne Hougland
Bishop-Elect Whayne Hougland, Jr. paid a visit to Western Michigan last week, to meet diocesan leadership, clergy, staff, and to further familiarize himself with his future home.He describes his first few days learning about the diocese as “like drinking water out of a fire hydrant.” There are a lot of people to meet, issues to learn about, and needs to assess. However, he is still the rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, NC, and will wait until his consecration to become more active in decision-making.He is honored by the faith and trust of the people of Western Michigan.He hopes to make use of video to communicate with the diocese, and has recorded a video message.You can watch it by clicking here now and going to our newvideo page.Whayne Hougland