As our beloved former colleague Paula Clark continues to recover, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Chicago, with Paula’s full support, has decided to call an Assisting Bishop to begin serving this fall. With the support of our Presiding Bishop, the call was extended to me and I have accepted.
In a way, this is coming full circle for me. I served several congregations, and was on the Diocese of Chicago staff for 10 years, until being elected Bishop of Maine in 1997. I want to say that I have been happily settled with you, and only this kind of unique situation would draw me away. This absolutely feels like God’s call.
My ministry as Assisting Bishop of Washington will conclude on September 30th, and I begin serving the Diocese of Chicago in early October. I will maintain my current residence, commuting between Maryland and Chicago; I am grateful for all these months of learning how to do ministry remotely.
It has been two and a half years since I joined the diocesan staff in EDOW. Even with the immense challenges of the recent period, this has been a grace-filled time for me. I will write some longer reflections on our time together shortly before we say farewell. For now, my gratitude, love and prayers are offered in fullest measure.
The Rt. Rev. Chilton R. Knudsen
Assisting Bishop of Washington
Dear Friends in Christ,
While we share Bishop-elect Paula’s disappointment that her consecration in Chicago must be delayed, we can give thanks to God that she is surrounded by love and care on every side as she continues to heal.
And while we in the Diocese of Washington are sad that Bishop Chilton will leave us, how good it is for one who is both beloved of the Diocese of Chicago and who loves Bishop-elect Paula to serve as Assisting Bishop at her side.
As Bishop Chilton writes, she feels called by God to serve the Diocese of Chicago and Bishop-elect Paula. I spoke with the Rev. Anne Jolly, President of the Standing Committee in Chicago, and she is overjoyed that Bishop Chilton has accepted the call. “Her presence will be a tremendous gift to the entire diocese.” she told me. We know this is true, for Bishop Chilton has been a great gift to us.
The time to say goodbye is not yet upon us. Bishop Chilton will be on vacation in August and here for the month of September. Her responsibilities will be reassigned to members of the diocesan staff, as we take stock in the weeks ahead and discern our way forward.
Mark your calendars for Wednesday September 29, 5:30 p.m. We’ll gather Washington National Cathedral (both in-person and live-streamed) to offer prayers of thanksgiving and blessing for Bishop Chilton. In the meantime, please take every opportunity to thank her for saying yes to the Diocese of Chicago now, and yes to us so whole-heartedly for the last two years.
Thank you for your continued prayers for Bishop-elect Paula. She continues to pray for us all. We are united by our prayers.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgard Budde
Bishop of Washington