Bishop Rivera, suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Olympia, has been asked to serve as a part-time provisional bishop in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. Eastern Oregon has been without a bishop since the resignation of Bishop William Gregg in 2007.
The details of the call are a bit unusual in that Bishop Rivera will continue to serve as Suffragan in Olympia and will spend a third of her time in the Diocese of Eastern Oregon. The novel arrangement is motivated in part by the financial pressures which have kept Eastern Oregon from being able to call a new bishop until now.
From the Episcopal News Service story:
“In [a] letter, addressed to the people of the Diocese of Olympia, Rivera described the people of Eastern Oregon as ‘in a huge transition. With only a couple dozen (mostly small) congregations, they will have to consider new ways of being the Episcopal Church in Eastern Oregon. None of us know yet what that will be.
‘They have called a bishop whom they believe can (among other things) think creatively and explore new models of the episcopate, strengthen lay leadership, understand and embrace shared ministry and area ministry models, understand the culture of the church in the west, and collaborate with other small and rural dioceses. This first step of ministry shared between two dioceses is a first ‘new model of the episcopate’,’ she said.”
Read the full article here.