Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to assist Diocese of Wyoming during leadership transition

By ENS Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2024

[Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, The Episcopal Church’s previous presiding bishop, has agreed to serve the Diocese of Wyoming as an assisting bishop as it navigates a leadership transition after its former bishop was stripped of his holy orders in a disciplinary matter.

Paul-Gordon Chandler, who had served as bishop of Wyoming since February 2021, agreed in March 2024 to a sentence of deposition in the case against him under the church’s Title IV disciplinary canons, meaning he is no longer ordained in The Episcopal Church. The allegations were not detailed publicly, though a previous letter to the diocese from the chair of its standing committee cited “an alleged indiscretion with a member of our diocesan team.”

Katharine Jefferts Schori

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the former presiding bishop, has served since 2019 as an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Photo: Diocese of Los Angeles

Jefferts Schori was bishop of the Diocese of Nevada in 2006 when she was elected as The Episcopal Church’s 25th presiding bishop, becoming the first woman to hold the office. Since concluding her presiding bishop term in 2015, she has served as an assisting bishop in other dioceses, including the Diocese of San Diego from 2017 to 2019 while it was in the middle of a leadership transition. Since then, she has been an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

She will begin her work in Wyoming in early July, the standing committee said in a message to the diocese on June 4.

“Our work screening bishops for this position was a profound spiritual journey,” the Rev. Camie Dewey, a member of the standing committee, said in the message. “All candidates were excellent, but it was Katharine’s healing presence and experience with grieving communities that made her our final choice.”

As assisting bishop, Jefferts Schori’s duties will include working pastorally with congregations and clergy, as well as with the Commission on Ministry and those in the ordination process. She also will preside at rector installations, confirmations receptions and other regional gatherings.