bon voyage!

office bishop image 1b

Office of the Bishop Img3

Office of the Bishop
Bishop's Video Page
Diocesan Staff
Contact Us

Episcopal Church USA
Episcopal News Service
News & Upcoming Events
Photo Gallery

our bishop image 2a

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.

His name is Whayne – with an "h." It is his great-great-great grandmother's maiden name and is Welsh for wagon maker – one who makes a way to carry the heavy stuff of life. "I like my name and strive to live into it in helping others carry the heavy stuff of life by making a way for God," he said.

He and his wife Dana reside in Grand Rapids, MI.

Click here to see the Bishop's Visitation Customary.
Click here to see Bishop Hougland's visitation schedule.

The Bishop's Consecration Page. Photos, information and DVD ordering from the Bishop's 2013 Consecration.
News article, "Western Michigan: Whayne M. Hougland Ordained as Ninth Bishop" (Episcopal News Service)
Photo Gallery of the Consecration of the Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr.


Bishop Hougland's Statements to the Diocese

Below are some of Bishop Hougland's letters to the diocese on current events, relevant topics and pastoral directives.

Christmas 2016 Message: God with us
A Response to Violence In Our Time
Response to Orlando
Prayers for Anglican Unity
Christmas 2015 Message to the Diocese "We are children of light"
Bishop's Address to the 141st Convention
Response to Presiding Bishop Curry's Call to Support Syrian Refugees
Response to Water Crisis in Flint, MI
Pastoral Letter on the Future of the Diocese
Bishop's Plea to Help Syrian Refugees with Episcopal Migration Ministries
Request to Support Bishop Whittemore Foundation
Reflection on the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church
Response to Supreme Court Decision on Same-Sex Marriage


Donate to the Bishop's Discretionary Fund

Bishop Hougland maintains a discretionary or special needs fund to meet unplanned needs and unbudgeted requests during the year. Through his special needs fund, he has helped postulants, helped with education for deacons, responded to pastoral concerns and emergencies, helped clergy with health issues and much more.

You may help Bishop Hougland continue to quickly respond to needs in the diocese by making a donation to his discretionary fund. You do not need to have a Paypal account to donate.


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 formed 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.

But the narrower hook, often called a leg clique, is meant to grab the sheep by its leg, a more gentle and less painful way to return the sheep to the flock.

Since a bishop bears this staff as "shepherd of the flock of God," Bishop Hougland appreciates this symbol of gentle leadership.

He is also grateful for the talent of Ted Gerrard who so lovingly made this beautiful crosier.

Parish Administration