The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Colorado notified members of the diocese on September 6 that they have withdrawn Canon Michael Pipkin from the slate of candidates which was announced at the end of July. Their letter reads in part:
In the last several days, we have received reports of serious personal, professional, and vocational issues involving The Reverend Canon Michael Pipkin. Because we recognize that these complaints are serious, and because they cannot be resolved prior to our October 27 election, the Standing Committee voted unanimously on August 29 to remove him from consideration in the upcoming election for the 11th Bishop of Colorado.
As these changes in our discernment and election process have unfolded, we have been in close communication with Canon Pipkin’s bishop as well as with Bishop Todd Ousley, who works for the Presiding Bishop and provides oversight and guidance for all episcopal elections. These allegations have been referred to them for further action under the provision of The Episcopal Church’s canons.
Further, we have decided unanimously to proceed with our election with two nominees on the slate–The Reverend Kimberly D. Lucas and The Reverend Canon Ruth Woodliff-Stanley. Both nominees have reaffirmed their enthusiastic desire to continue with us as we seek our next bishop.
We remain deeply grateful for the faithful, careful, and thorough work previously undertaken by the Search Committee on our behalf. We have informed its members of the basis for the recent decisions that have been made, and they have unanimously expressed their unqualified support. Both they and we are confident that the two faithful, talented priests now on the slate possess the gifts to provide strong episcopal leadership to serve God’s mission with us here in Colorado.
Read the full text here.
According to the Colorado search website, walkabouts are scheduled for October 7-13, and the election for October 27. The consecration of the new bishop will take place on May 18, 2019.
Update, Friday afternoon: The Living Church reports that bishop of Minnesota, the Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, has written in response to the withdrawal of Canon Pipkin. In the letter, Bishop Prior states that, “we seek to gather the relevant material regarding these concerns.” He is also clear that any allegations must be substantiated. His letter, as posted on TLC’s website, concludes:
Living fully into our Baptismal Covenant, we’re seeking to respect the dignity of every human being. Our unwavering commitment is to live into the fullness of the mission that God has called us to, and to become reconciled to God through Christ and with each other.
I continue to ask your prayers for all those involved with this situation.