Betsey Monnot elected 10th bishop of Iowa

Posted Aug 2, 2021

[Diocese of Iowa] The Rev. Betsey Monnot was elected as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Iowa during a Special Convention held on July 31 in Des Moines, Iowa. She was elected on the third ballot.

“I am beyond excited to be your new bishop-elect. My heart is full. Thank you so much for your confidence in me. I look forward to our ministry together as we follow God’s call into the future that God dreams of for The Episcopal Church in Iowa,” Monnot said in an address to the diocese via Zoom shortly after being notified of her election. “I am so excited to join you in ministry and to take the next steps soon. May God’s blessing be with all of us as we prepare for our future together, as we journey as disciples of Jesus on the road together, and as we continue to listen for God’s call for the Episcopal Church in Iowa.”

Monnot is the first woman to be elected bishop of Iowa since the diocese was formed in 1853. She was chosen from a slate of all-women candidates that also included the Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly of the Diocese of Virginia and the Rev. Elizabeth Duff Popplewell from the Diocese of Iowa.

The Rev. Kathleen Milligan, chair of the Standing Committee, said on behalf of the committee, “We are thrilled with the election of the Rev. Betsey Monnot as our 10th bishop; and deeply grateful to God for the culmination of a process that began at the end of October in 2019. Kevin Sanders, chair, and all of the members of the Search and Nominating Committee have worked long and hard, in a virtual process leading to this day, and they have done stellar work. The Transitions Committee, headed by Elaine Caldbeck, did great work arranging for the personal visits in mid-July and are continuing now to work toward the bishop’s consecration in December.  We are also grateful to the Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly and Rev. Elizabeth Duff Popplewell for their willingness to offer themselves to this process and to discern with us the movement of the Holy Spirit. Our prayers go with them as they continue their own ministries. We all look forward to welcoming Bishop-elect Monnot and family to Iowa, and to the beginning of our work together.”

Monnot has been serving as the priest-in-charge at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in
Rancho Cordova, California, and as director and retreat leader of Called to Abundant Life: Leadership Consulting. Monnot previously served as missioner for leadership development and networking for the Diocese of Northern California and co-rector with her husband, Michael, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Sacramento, California.

Monnot and her husband have three children – William, 16; Robert, 13, and Thomas, 11.

The service of ordination and consecration by which Monnot becomes a bishop and assumes responsibility for the pastoral and administrative work of the diocese, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 18, at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. The chief consecrator will be Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

“It is with thanksgiving and praise to God that I welcome Betsey Monnot as the bishop-elect for the Diocese of Iowa,” said the Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, ninth bishop of Iowa. “Over these past 18 years, it has been a great privilege and joy to share in the ministry of Christ with the Episcopal people of Iowa, and I am assured that this will be your wonderful experience as well over many years. We embrace with hope and expectation your leadership as our 10th Bishop.  May I express my hopes in the words expressed in the bishop’s prayer over a person reaffirming baptismal vows: ‘May the Holy Spirit, who has begun a good work in you, direct and uphold you in the service of Christ and God’s Kingdom.’ Amen.”