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 www.edwm.org for details.