[Episcopal Diocese of Arizona] The Rt. Rev. Kirk S. Smith, fifth bishop of the Diocese of Arizona, has announced his retirement.
In a letter sent to all clergy and congregations in the diocese, Bishop Smith said the announcement was with “mixed emotions.” He explained, “By the time I retire I will be almost 68 years old. It is time for the diocese to move on to a new mission with younger leadership. It is also time for me to enjoy some new adventures before I get too old to do so!”
Bishop Smith does not plan to sit idly in retirement. His first journey will be a one-semester visiting professorship at General Theological Seminary in New York for the fall of 2019.
The transition process will take approximately 18 months before a new bishop is consecrated. The Standing Committee and a Search Committee, designated by the diocesan Constitution and Canons (body of laws and regulations), will lead the process. At the Diocesan Convention on October 19-20, 2018, an election will be held to choose Bishop Smith’s successor, with the next bishop being consecrated as the Sixth Bishop of Arizona on March 9, 2019.
Bishop Smith promised that he would not be “a lame duck” because there is still much work to do, which will include “a time of sharing memories and celebrating our work together.”