There are approximately 21 congregations in the diocese, mostly small and rural. I don't know how many have full or part time clergy on staff. Their last bishop was +Keith B. Whitmore, who served from 1999- 2008 and, last I heard, was assisting in the Diocese of Atlanta.
The position is part time.
To my knowledge, this is at least the second "part time" position of a Bishop Diocesan (I'm sorry but I can't remember the diocese - which means it's someplace west and south of RI :~), but I do remember that the bishop there is also rector of a "cardinal parish"). The Dioceses of Fond du Lac, Fort Worth and a few others in Michigan are considering either part time episcopacy or merger with another geographically contiguous diocese.
The retired bishop of Springfield, +Peter Beckwith, told me that when he was first elected there, the position offered him substantially less than what he was earning as a rector. The arrangement he had with them was that he remained in the National Reserve, working one weekend a month and taking a month in the summer for reserve training - none of which was considered "vacation time". It was the only way he could earn enough money for himself and his family and have a decent retirement.
I don't think he considered himself a "part time" or "bivocational bishop," but, in truth, that's what he was. I wonder how many other bishops in The Episcopal Church have either been quietly bivocational or worked full time for a part time pay and supplemented their salaries in other ways.
I've posted the announcement below. I love the descriptive phrase "roughly 20 hours per week". Roughly? You can bet it will be 'rough'. Somebody is going to need to have some pretty firm yet semipermeable boundaries.
Interesting times in the church. New models of ministry and leadership are emerging, brought on mostly by financial necessity, but with an open, creative spirit. Seems we are going "back to the future" of episcopal leadership.
I wonder how we are preparing people - lay and ordained - for this new style of leadership?
Prayers for the people of the Diocese of Eau Claire, for the candidates, for their mutual discernment and for the church.
Diocese of Eau Claire Announces Candidates
- The Rev. Robert B. Clarke, priest-in-charge, Holy Apostles’ Church, Oneida, Wisconsin (Diocese of Fond du Lac);
- The Rev. Richard E. Craig III, former rector, St. John the Baptist, Portage, Wisconsin (Diocese of Milwaukee);
- The Rev. Arthur B. Hancock, vicar, Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Hayward, Wisconsin (Diocese of Eau Claire); and
- The Rev. W. Jay Lambert, rector, St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida (Diocese of Central Florida).