Priest to be first female bishop in Episcopal Diocese of Iowa

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A priest who has long served the Episcopal Church will officially become the church’s first female bishop in the Iowa Diocese.

Rev. Betsey Monnot, who served as the priest in charge of St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Was elected 10th bishop of the Diocese of Iowa over the summer. She will be officially ordained and consecrated in a ceremony on Saturday. Monnot, originally from Massachusetts, was first ordained in 2002 after working in customer service and management.

“It was the idea of ​​God, 100%,” Monnot said as he reflected on what led to this point in his life and career in an interview Tuesday, adding that the Holy Spirit “got me” kicked in the pants “to become a priest. She said the role has great spiritual and ecclesiastical significance as part of a lineage of the Apostles of Jesus.

The ninth bishop of the Diocese of Iowa Alan Scarfe retired in September after serving since 2003.

Monnot said that when she first read the Diocese of Iowa Profile, she thought she would be a good fit, then the Holy Spirit pushed her after a phone call from a friend, who asked to put his name into consideration. Confirmation that she was on the right track only got stronger throughout the process, she said.

“They wanted a bishop who will get to know them and that’s exactly what I wanted to do,” Monnot said, noting that his relationship style seems to suit the Diocese of Iowa, which covers the entire state from its small rural congregations. to its largest urban churches. Now she wants to reflect on what she’s hearing from the faithful in Iowa and see where the Holy Spirit is taking the diocese.

“I’m excited. I’m ready,” Monnot said. “I can’t wait to see what God has in mind as it unfolds for all of us.” She hopes to strengthen the congregations and the relationships between them and leaders, as well as to strengthen relationships with the Companion Dioceses of Scotland, South Sudan and Eswatini.

Monnot says she has already learned a lot about congregations in Iowa. A church ministry is lending medical equipment such as motorized wheelchairs and attracting people from across the region to take advantage of it, even during the pandemic.

Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will be the chief consecrator of Saturday’s ceremony. He said the church is seeing more women and people of color becoming bishops, reflecting who the church is and who it is becoming as the church seeks to be a house of prayer for all, reflecting the words of Jesus. Monnot’s election is representative of this, he said, as the church strives to become a deeply welcoming and inclusive community, following Jesus’ example.


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