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Retirement of Canon Peggy Bean

February 11, 2021

To the faithful in the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee,
We write you today to announce the retirement of Canon Peggy Bean, Canon for Congregations. Her retirement will begin on Monday, March 8, 2021. There is much for which to be grateful and to celebrate in Peggy’s 23 years of ministry to God’s people in this diocese. 

  • Peggy worked hard in the area of congregational development. She created a new system for offering developing congregations financial and organizational support.
  • Peggy was instrumental in creating the Congregational Development Institute in the Diocese of Milwaukee. This program became so successful and well-known that other dioceses throughout the church adopted it, and Peggy, in turn, served as a consultant to get those new programs up and running successfully.
  • The formation and on-going operation of the Hospitality Center, Racine County’s largest day shelter for people who are hungry, seeking hope, and, in many cases, homeless, located at St. Luke’s, was due in part to Peggy’s support and dedication.
  • Many clergy serving in our diocese are here because of Peggy’s work in the area of deployment. Her deployment work here has also led to opportunities for her to serve the Church on the regional and national levels.
  • Parishes carrying heavy debt often found relief from those financial burdens due to Peggy’s careful work through the Commission on Mission and Development and through the diocesan Finance Committee.
  • Several new rectors, priests-in-charge, and vicars attended Fresh Start, a program for fostering relationships among clergy and their congregations during their transitions into new calls, facilitated by Peggy.
  • Lay leaders throughout the diocese were blessed by Peggy’s leadership, wisdom and insight as a trainer in areas of lay ministry leadership and development.

… and there is more. 
We give thanks and praise to God for Peggy’s ministry and leadership among us, and we pray for God’s blessings upon her in the years ahead. Tokens of appreciation, cards, and notes can be sent to Peggy at the following address:
Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee
Attn: Peggy Bean
804 E. Juneau Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Thank you and may God continue to bless us all and the common life we share in the Diocese of Milwaukee.

Fr. Scott R. Leannah, President
Standing Committee of the Diocese of Milwaukee
(414) 379-0632

A Note from the Standing Committee: February 10, 2021

Dear Friends,

Your diocesan Standing Committee hopes and prays that you are doing well and in good spirits. With all of you, we look very much forward to when we can begin, in some fashion, to gather for worship and fellowship. Until that time, we want you to know that you are in our prayers. We are edified by the many stories and examples of parish communities engaging in worship, formation and outreach in creative and meaningful ways. We are aware that there are also some real struggles and challenges in our diocese.

In the meantime, we want to check in with you.  In the coming weeks, members of the Standing Committee will be reaching out to parish communities and leaders. We’d like to hear how things are going. We want to know if we can be of support or encouragement. If you have specific needs, we’d like to know that, as well. 

We are working hard to be of service and assistance- please let us know how we can serve or support you. May God continue to bless the Diocese of Milwaukee!

Fr. Scott Leannah, President
Standing Committee

Update from the Standing Committee: October 19, 2020

Dear Friends,
We realize that it’s been a while since you have heard from us, and we’d like to offer an update regarding our ministry on behalf of the diocese. Following our recent diocesan convention, we’ve been receiving some questions about the transition, leading us to believe it would be a good idea to share where things are at this point. We will do this in a question and answer (Q & A) format. We plan to communicate with you more regularly moving forward.
Q: Why are we going to have an Assisting/Provisional Bishop instead of continuing the search for a new bishop as originally planned?
A: When the pandemic first hit the search committee needed to take a step back because of all the restrictions and we had not yet come to a point where technology was as widely used as it is now. As time went on, we realized that as we searched for our next bishop in that landscape, it would be increasingly difficult to find people who would be in a place to discern along with us whether Milwaukee was a fit for them. Once we decided to bring in an Assisting/Provisional Bishop, we also began to see the possibilities that having this interim time in between Bishops would allow the diocese to do some intentional work to discern who we are and what we want and need in our next Bishop.
Q: Are you talking with people now about fulfilling the roles of Assisting Bishop and Provisional Bishop?
A: Yes. We are talking to several people, and once we have Letters of Agreements signed and their permission, we will announce their names to the diocese.
Q: When does the Assisting Bishop start?
A: Our plan is to have an Assisting Bishop begin ministry with us on January 1, 2021.
Q: What does an Assisting Bishop do?
A: The Assisting Bishop will be a resource for the Standing Committee, offering us advice and guidance in a variety of ways. This person will check in at our monthly Standing Committee meeting and lead special processes that are reserved for a bishop. These include specific issues related to the clergy. This person will also be available for “episcopal acts” — meaning roles that are reserved in our Church for a bishop. This will largely be an on-call position. The Assisting Bishop will already be a bishop prior to working with us.
Q: Is the Assisting Bishop the ecclesiastical authority in the diocese?
A: No, the Assisting Bishop, as the name suggests, assists the Standing Committee for the few months that we are the ecclesiastical authority in the diocese.
Q: When does the Provisional Bishop start? 
A: The Provisional Bishop designee will begin ministry with us on or very close to April 1, 2021. We use the word “designee” because this person will need to be elected as Provisional Bishop in a special diocesan convention for that purpose. The Provisional Bishop will already be a bishop before working with us.
Q: What will the Provisional Bishop do?  
A: The Provisional Bishop will serve in many respects like any diocesan bishop. They will engage in episcopal acts such as visitations, confirmations, ordinations, etc. They will be a “Shepherd to the shepherds,” working with our clergy. They will engage in the ministry of administration, overseeing diocesan staff and the entities within the diocese. This person will also do some of the work that an interim rector might do in a parish.
Q: What kind of work do you mean?
A: Well, following two bishops with very long tenures (Bishop White was with us for 19 years and, more recently, Bishop Miller was with us for 17 years), now is a good time for us to step back and take a “diocesan inventory” of sorts. We want to give our parishes and their members a chance to reflect on our common life together and share the stories, heartbreaks and joys that have marked our shared mission and ministry. We want to examine our diocesan culture, organization, priorities and goals. We may also want to enter into dialogue with the other dioceses in Wisconsin and talk about how we might share mission and ministry together. Looking at all of these issues and others that may arise will better equip us to call our next bishop. During the time that the Provisional Bishop is with us and involved in all of this important ministry, we intend to call together a Search Committee to begin the process of calling our next bishop.
Q: Will the Provisional be full-time?
A: The Provisional Bishop will most likely work part-time, at 50%.
Q: How long will we have a Provisional Bishop?
A: We’re thinking two years, maybe a bit longer.
Q: Is the Standing Committee currently the ecclesiastical (church) authority in the diocese?
A: No. Bishop Steven Miller is our diocesan bishop until he officially retires on December 31, 2020. After the bishop’s formal retirement on December 31, 2020, the Standing Committee will be the ecclesiastical authority in the diocese. We’ll have the Assisting Bishop to help us, as well as diocesan staff and the leadership in our diocese, lay and ordained. When the Provisional Bishop is elected, then that person will be the ecclesiastical authority and Standing Committee will resume its more traditional role in our diocesan life.
Q: If we have more questions for the Standing Committee, how can we get them to you? 
A: Contact Fr. Scott Leannah, the President of the Standing Committee, or Sara Bitner, diocesan Communications Officer.
Q: Is the Standing Committee a faithful, hopeful and dedicated group of people?
A: We hope so! By the grace of God, we feel blessed to serve in this way at this time.

Standing Committee Members

The Rev. Scott Leannah (President)
Ms. Tammy Prather
Ms. Celia Fine
The Rev. Andrew Jones
The Rev. Jana Troutman-Miller
Mr. Marcus White
Ms. Margaret Done
The Rev. Dave Mowers