Search Team Members

Clifford Barry is a member of St Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Richland, in the Eastern Deanery.  He has lived in the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan for 33 years and been an Episcopalian for 11 years. He describes himself as a “counselor in private practice, mediator, facilitator, program development and seminar presenter, educator, researcher.”  His favorite ways to relax and renew are “reading, camping, playing with grandchildren, learning, and keeping wife happy for more than 50 years.”  He values listening to and celebrating people.

Martha Bartlett attends Trinity Church, Marshall, in the Eastern Deanery. She is a lifetime Episcopalian and in the Diocese of Western Michigan for 13 years. This past July, she retired as the director of Family Promise of Branch County, the shelter for families and single women who are homeless. Prior to moving to Coldwater (Branch County), she was on the staff and then Director of Crossroads of Michigan, an ecumenical outreach ministry in Detroit.  With camping and canoeing experience, she see her life now in the “portage” stage, exploring what is next on the horizon!  She enjoys reading, gardening and travel with her husband, a recently retired Episcopal priest.

The Very Rev. Rebecca Crise is the rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Paw Paw, and the dean of the St. Joseph Deanery.  She has been an Episcopalian for 10 years and in the Diocese of Western Michigan for 4 1/2.  A retired veterinarian, she now serves God and neighbor as a priest. Her favorite ways to relax and renew are reading, bird watching, playing with her Papillions, and traveling.

Nancy Foster is a member of St. Mary’s Cadillac in the Traverse Deanery.  A lifelong Episcopalian, she has been in the Diocese of Western Michigan for 37 years. Professionally, she is the Chief Academic Officer of Baker College. To relax and renew, she enjoys traveling to interesting places and learning new things.

David Hawley-Lowry is a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland, in the Lakeshore Deanery.  A lifelong Episcopalian, he has been in the Diocese of Western Michigan for ten years. Professionally, he is the Facilities Manager at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Tabernacle Community Church, both in Grand Rapids. To relax and renew, he enjoys “skiing (alpine), Cooking, and playing in the dirt, (gardening).” He says, “I have been for the last three years a counselor at our diocesan Youth Camp. Four years ago I never would have imagined me at camp. I had never been before.  I’m a bit of a church geek, and the structure and leadership opportunities in our church are appealing to me.”

Joyce Henry, Search Team Co-Chair, is a member of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids. She has been an Episcopalian for 38 years and in the Diocese of Western Michigan for 26. Her career has included many roles as a Human Resources professional, most recently as Director of Diversity and Inclusion. She is a trained Cornell Diversity Professional and Institutes for Healing Racism facilitator. She is active in a myriad of community initiatives which advance equity in education & access for the under-served in health care. To relax and renew she enjoys reading, participating in Zumba and traveling with her family. From her perspective, the Diocese of Western Michigan is at a crossroads. She states, “as we honor our past, we have an opportunity to live into the future – into what ever we hope it to be. I am honored and humbled to be a part of the journey.”

The Rev. Charles Homeyer is a retired priest who supplies at various parishes, mostly in the Grand Valley Deanery. He has been an Episcopalian for 47 years and a member of the Diocese of Western Michigan for 33.  Professionally, he was a parish priest, pastor, preacher for 35 years, 30 of them as Holy Cross, Kentwood.  He did liturgies, sacraments, pastoral calling and care, sermon preparation and preaching, teaching, parish administration, a monthly newsletter, diocesan committee work and leadership, and community outreach.  To relax and renew, he likes to travel, especially to see baseball games.  He enjoys writing, gardening, reading, and napping.  He is actively involved as a volunteer at a clothing bank, a community theater, and an inner city neighborhood collaboration.  I love nature and walking outdoors.

He says, “For many years I celebrated Eucharist for prisoners at Riverside State Prison in Ionia.  In 1988-’89 I served on the Bishop Search Committee.  In 2001-’02 I served on the Transition Team.  I’ve been head of the Clergy Association, co-convenor and founder of the Diocesan Consulting Team, chair of the Total Ministry Committee, on the Commission on Ministry, Standing Committee, and Executive Council among other things.”

Stephen Leonard is a member of St. Augustine’s of Canterbury, Benton Harbor, in the St. Joseph Deanery.  He has been an Episcopalian in the Diocese of Western Michigan for 28 years. Professionally, he works at a family manufacturing business as a vice president who manages production, sales, and design. To relax and renew, he enjoys watching sci-fi movies with his wife, cooking and entertaining, and golf when he has time.

The Rev. Nurya Love Parish is the associate priest at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Grand Rapids, in the Grand Valley Deanery.  Formerly ordained in another tradition, she has been an Episcopalian for the last six years, all of them in the Diocese of Western Michigan. Professionally, she is half-time clergy and half-time blogger and mother of young children. To relax and renew, she enjoys gardening, reading, and spending time with friends. She says, “I am the communications coordinator for the search team and I appreciate your comments and requests!”

The Very Rev. Daniel Richards is the rector of Grace Church, Traverse City, and dean of the Grand Traverse Deanery.  He has been an Episcopalian since 1998 and in the Diocese of Western Michigan since February 2009.  He describes himself as “a motivational speaker, life coach, community organizer, consultant, Bibliophile, poet of the soul, otherwise called a priest among the royal priesthood of Christ.  It is the greatest job in the world.” His favorite ways to relax and renew are trail running and reading. He says, “I have a wonderful wife and three children.  I am deeply concerned about the leadership and discipleship of the church.  A deep faith is the silver thread of life.”

Carol Rickey, Search Team Co-Chair, is a member of Grace Episcopal Church, Holland, in the Lakeshore Deanery. She has been an Episcopalian for 15 years and part of the Diocese of Western Michigan for 12. Professionally, her career was divided with 20 years as a college administrator and dean of students and 20 years as director of non profit organizations. She has served as a Diocesan Consultant for seven years, working with parishes on searches for priests and mutual ministry reviews. To relax and renew, she enjoys making art, reading, swimming, and volunteering.

Mary Simpson is a member of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, in the Grand Valley Deanery.  A second-generation Episcopalian, she has been in this diocese entire life except 5 years when her husband was in the Navy and in college. Professionally, she is a Sleep Technologist, and she is currently helping to create a new sub speciality in the field of Clinical Sleep Educator.  To relax and renew, she enjoys spending time with family, camping, and doing jigsaw puzzles. She says, “I have always been involved in the work of the church.  Camp, Sunday School, youth groups, Vestries–senior warden several times, ECW president, teacher, mission work, and various Bible studies–my favorite.  I look forward to being part of the search team for our next Bishop,  for this person will help guide us in this ever-changing world.”

Esther Yff-Prins, Chaplain, is a member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church, Kentwood, in the Grand Valley Deanery. She has been an Episcopalian and a member of this diocese for 8 years. Professionally, she is a spiritual director and a contemplative. Formerly, she worked as a teacher and family law paralegal. To relax and renew, she enjoys reading, crosswords, Scrabble, long walks, regular workouts, and dinner with friends.

Discussion

  1. Natalie says:

    I would like to know how the people were chosen. It would seem to me that a representative from each parish should be part of the decision. We should ALL be a part of this process not just a chosen few, so that all voices are heard.

    • Admin says:

      Thanks for asking this question. I’ve now posted the Standing Committee’s request for applications for these teams. This request went out in March and was to be published to the parishes in April. It can be found at http://edwmsearch.org/searchtransition-application/.

      Search and Transition Team members applied to the Standing Committee for this role and were selected by the Standing Committee, which is canonically responsible for the transition process.

      There are many ways that the diocese as a whole takes part in this process: 1) Participate in the “Have Your Say” process which will take place this summer as part of the development of our Diocesan Profile; 2) Nominate candidates to the Search Team for consideration; 3) Come to the candidate visits and learning about the candidates for the position; 4) Share your viewpoint with your parish delegates to the Election Convention.

      As well, you are encouraged to stay abreast of the process by keeping up with new developments as they are posted on this website and via the diocesan e-news. If you are not subscribed to the e-news, you are encouraged to do so. That link can be found at http://www.edwm.org, about halfway down the page on the left hand side.

      Thank you again for commenting!

      • Stephen White says:

        If I’m reading the biographical sketches correctly, I find it interesting that four members of this search committee represent two parishes (Grace Church, Holland and St. Andrew’s Church, Grand Rapids). While I’m not sure of the exact criteria used by the standing committee to select members, I do know of applicants from other parishes who were not selected. While I pray for those selected for this difficult task, I’m not sure this represents the diversity of parishes it might have.

  2. John A Gracki says:

    I agree with Stephen White. The representation of parishes is strikingly narrow. Although not every parish could be represented, the fact that 4 members come from only two stuck me as well. Perhaps representative breadth was not a selection criteria. But then, why not?

    • Admin says:

      This site is maintained by members of the Search and Transition teams. We were appointed by the Standing Committee, but we do not know the selection criteria they used in their decision-making. We regret we don’t have the answer to this question.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Search Team Members [...]

  2. [...] I made new friends through the Episcopal Church’s Acts 8 Moment. I was even appointed to the Bishop Search Team for my diocese. (Volunteering to build the search website probably [...]

  3. [...] higher priorities are: 1) Family; 2) St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church; 3) the Bishop Search Team of the Episcopal Diocese of Western [...]

  4. [...] higher priorities are: 1) Family; 2) St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church; 3) the Bishop Search Team of the Episcopal Diocese of Western [...]

  5. [...] I made new friends through the Episcopal Church’s Acts 8 Moment. I was even appointed to the Bishop Search Team for my diocese. (Volunteering to build the search website probably [...]

  6. [...] is that I am spending online time another way: as a member and communications coordinator of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan’s Bishop Search Team. Among other things, I have learned how to design and build a better website. And of course, the [...]

  7. [...] is that I am spending online time another way: as a member and communications coordinator of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan’s Bishop Search Team. Among other things, I have learned how to design and build a better website. And of course, the [...]

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