The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr. was consecrated by Katharine Jefferts Schori as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Western Michigan on September 28, 2013 in Grand Rapids. Bishop Hougland grew up in a Roman Catholic family in central Kentucky where he became aware of his call to Holy Orders as a teenager, but when his wife Dana stole his heart in high school, he knew that becoming a Roman Catholic priest presented "significant problems." He and Dana were married in the Episcopal Church and have raised their two daughters in the church.
Bishop Hougland was called again to Holy Orders after a dissatisfying career in the corporate world. He attended The School of Theology in Sewanee, Tennessee and was ordained a priest in 1998.
Bishop Hougland believes in developing a personal rule of life, and patterns his own after the Rule of St. Benedict, which includes prayer, study and daily reflection on scripture.
He and his wife Dana reside in Grand Rapids, MI.
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The Bishop's Crosier
At the 2014 Special Convention, Ted Gerrard of Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, Belmont presented Bishop Hougland with a new handmade crosier constructed from the woods of Kent County.
When Bishop Hougland visited Holy Spirit the winter prior to receiving this gift, he had met Ted, who asked the bishop if there was anything he could make for him. Bishop Hougland replied that he would really like a new crosier made from local wood.
Ted came across the curved piece of wood while walking in the woods one day. He used the unique, narrow shape for the crook, which is especially appealing to Bishop Hougland, who explained to the congregation at Special Convention that there are two ways to snag a sheep back to the flock.
The more common, wider hook shapes of shepherd's crooks are used to retrieve the sheep by ensnaring its neck, which is often more painful for the animal, jerking its neck and often choking it.
He is also grateful for the talent of Ted Gerrard who so lovingly made this beautiful crosier.