Diocese of Colorado drops candidate from bishop search process

Posted Sep 6, 2018

[Diocese of Colorado] The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Colorado on Sept. 6 released the following letter regarding the search process for the diocese’s next bishop diocesan.

Dear People of God in The Episcopal Church in Colorado:

In the last several days, we have received reports of serious personal, professional, and vocational issues involving The Reverend Canon Michael Pipkin. Because we recognize that these complaints are serious, and because they cannot be resolved prior to our October 27 election, the Standing Committee voted unanimously on August 29 to remove him from consideration in the upcoming election for the 11th Bishop of Colorado.

As these changes in our discernment and election process have unfolded, we have been in close communication with Canon Pipkin’s bishop as well as with Bishop Todd Ousley, who works for the Presiding Bishop and provides oversight and guidance for all episcopal elections. These allegations have been referred to them for further action under the provision of The Episcopal Church’s canons.

Further, we have decided unanimously to proceed with our election with two nominees on the slate–The Reverend Kimberly D. Lucas and The Reverend Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley. Both nominees have reaffirmed their enthusiastic desire to continue with us as we seek our next bishop.

We remain deeply grateful for the faithful, careful, and thorough work previously undertaken by the Search Committee on our behalf. We have informed its members of the basis for the recent decisions that have been made, and they have unanimously expressed their unqualified support. Both they and we are confident that the two faithful, talented priests now on the slate possess the gifts to provide strong episcopal leadership to serve God’s mission with us here in Colorado.

We know that some of you may have questions about this news.

While it is unusual for a diocese to elect a bishop from a slate of two nominees, it is not without precedent. In our case, the Standing Committee charged the Search Committee last January to present a slate of four nominees to the people of the diocese. The initial slate included three priests because one of the four final candidates decided to stand for election as bishop in another diocese.

With two nominees now on the slate, we trust that the strength of our common life, our commitment to serving God’s mission, and the work of the Holy Spirit are leading us forward even in the midst of these unexpected changes. On October 27, we will elect a bishop who will work faithfully with us in creating a vision for our future as the Body of Christ.

When the Standing Committee first met last November to pray about and to reflect upon the election of a new bishop, we identified a passage from Jeremiah that we thought would serve us well during this transition: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

We are continuing now with the same confidence and trust in God’s grace. Thank you for your continued prayer for the election of our new bishop.


Mr. Robert Morse
President of the Standing Committee
The Episcopal Church in Colorado

Mr. Bob Morse, President
Front Range Lay Representative
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Boulder

The Reverend Terry McGugan, Vice President
High Plains Clergy Representative
Christ Church, Denver

Mr. Jim Wolfe, Secretary
High Plains Lay Representative
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Centennial

The Reverend Charlie Brumbaugh
Northwest Clergy Representative
St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Breckenridge

The Reverend Peter Floyd
Sangre de Cristo Clergy Representative
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs

Ms. Jan Johnson
Northwest Lay Representative
St. Peter’s of the Valley Episcopal Church, Basalt

The Reverend Nature Johnston
Southwest Clergy Representative
The Church of the Nativity, Grand Junction

The Reverend Michael McManus
Front Range Clergy Representative
Church of the Transfiguration, Evergreen

Ms. Erin Smith
Southwest Lay Representative
St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Alamosa

Mr. Harry Tournay
Sangre de Cristo Lay Representative
Church of the Ascension & Holy Trinity, Pueblo