Telling it like it is in Wyoming

Yesterday morning, John Smylie (rector of St. Mark’s, Casper) was a candidate in the search for the ninth Bishop of Wyoming, which turned out to be a five-ballot event at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Laramie. Last night he went to bed a bishop-elect with a consecration scheduled for the last day in July, consents pending.


Before all that, Smylie answered questions – plenty of ‘em, both in print and in person.

On video no longer available at YouTube, Smylie holds forth on a smattering of important matters.

Why he wanted the job:

I think that I could be your pastor. I think that I could work to love you into greater growth.

Same-gender marriage:

I would be open to affirming the unions, but we can’t have the marriage because of the legal aspect.

His goals and what changes they might precipitate:

I don’t know what the changes will be, but I know as we participate in our Lord’s vision, we will be changed, and God will be glorified.

How he handles anger:

The one who anger hurts is the one who holds it.

With a hat-tip to Louie Crew, we note the following: Smylie, who was once an associate at Christ Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey, has become the fourth priest with such credentials to have been elected to the episcopate. He joins bishops Gene Robinson (New Hampshire), Richard Shimpfky (resigned from El Camino Real), and Philip Duncan (Central Gulf Coast) – all of them with ties of service to Christ Church!

Photos of the election (Smylie appears in photo #144.)

Category : The Lead
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5 Comments
  1. A couple of other things about our Bishop-elect: he has a son who is deaf and is proficient with ASL. When the nominees visited the Cathedral Home where there are 2 cottages for deaf students – a young man came up and was trying to speak to him but was also signing – John started signing back – you would have thought Santa Claus had arrived – everyone in the place came to “talk” Other thing he composes his own songs and sings them – has 3 cd albums out.

  2. Paul Woodrum

    That’s a rather tepid response to marriage equity for gay couples. Am I missing something?

  3. Chris H.

    Paul, I believe that while Wyoming doesn’t have a marriage amendment,state law does define marriage as between a man and woman. I believe Wyoming does recognize unions from other states, while most of its neighboring states,with amendments,don’t. So the bishop was probably trying to be as inclusive as he could without sounding too contemptuous towards the general conservative attitudes of the area or state law.

    Chris Harwood

  4. The bishop elect was responding to a question about same sex couples in Wyoming – just stating his support but acknowledging where the state stands currently. Our current bishop has worked for it at GC but nothing here in Wyoming – he supports churches who decide to do blessings but has not worked for change in the law or against oppressive laws that are offered.

  5. I grew up in Wyoming, at the time raised in the American Baptist tradition and now an Episcopalian. In many ways I “met” God on Casper Mountain at Church camp. So when I look at the pictures I feel a strange kinship. Congrats to the Diocese of Wyoming and to Bishop Elect Smylie.

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