The Living Church reports that the Rev. Michael P. Milliken will remain rector of Grace Church, Hutchinson, when he becomes the Bishop of Western Kansas, a model of ministry that the Episcopal Church hasn’t seen since it’s earliest days.
Because of financial challenges faced by the diocese, Milliken’s compensation package will be half that of his predecessor, the Rt. Rev. James M. Adams, who has become rector of Shepherd of the Hills Church, Lecanto, Fla.
Milliken plans to remain rector of Grace Church and move the diocesan office 62 miles southwest to Hutchinson from its current location in Salina. Christ Cathedral, Salina, will continue as the focal point for diocesan worship.
“We’re going to be trying a new paradigm where you have a bishop who’s also a parish priest,” Milliken told The Living Church. “We think it may be an idea whose time has come again.”
When asked about Bishop Dean Wolfe’s recent overture to reunify the Diocese of Kansas with Western Kansas, Bishop-elect Milliken told us this:
At the present time…reunification does not seem to have much support in Western Kansas. However, our two dioceses have agreed to work toward a closer relationship in finding ways to share resources, ministries, and events. There is now a working group composed of members of each diocese that will begin exploring ways that Kansas and Western Kansas can work in concert with each other as sister dioceses. Bishop Wolfe and I have talked a little about this, and we are both very excited about working together to proclaim the Gospel in Kansas.
More on the election here.