Letter from Bishop Johnson to the
Diocese of West Tennessee
June 15, 2017
I met with the Standing Committee of the Diocese today to inform them of my plan to continue, God willing, to serve as Bishop Diocesan of West Tennessee into 2019. I have been in contact with the Presiding Bishop to ask him to set the date of the ordination of my successor in accordance with his timeframe.
The Standing Committee will now begin to take the required canonical steps to lead the Diocese through the nomination and election process. By Canon, I am required to fully delegate this responsibility to the Standing Committee. I trust that their work will lead to a smooth transition of leadership, and I invite you to join with me in praying for them, the Diocese, and all who will be engaged in this process. The Standing Committee will be in touch with you to provide information about their work in the weeks ahead.
For over forty years, Jeannie and I have invested our lives and that of our family in ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church. We have served in various places and capacities and this continues to be our privilege. Sixteen of these years have been as Bishop of West Tennessee, and we cherish this time and the relationships it has allowed us to deepen and share with you. Jeannie and I invite you to join us in continuing together the love, work and commitment we joyfully share in Christ’s service in this part of God’s vineyard.
“God willing” is the customary and insightful caveat attached to any announcement regarding God’s working in our lives beyond this present moment. So it is today. We will have the time to speak freely of our common hopes for the future and of the thanksgiving we continue to share as we move ahead in ministry and witness to God’s love in this present time. For now, let us remember the words of the Psalmist who proclaims, “This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Then, God willing, let us look forward to the next great adventure God has in mind for West Tennessee. Surely it will be good news!
Blessings with a promise of more to come,
The Rt. Rev. Don E. Johnson