[Episcopal News Service] Diocese of Alabama Bishop Kee Sloan issued a message to his diocese on Feb. 9 announcing his intention to step down at the end of 2020. He has called for the election of a bishop coadjutor, who will succeed him as diocesan bishop.
Sloan first announced his plans in an address to the diocesan convention. The text of his written message to the diocese follows.
This morning in my address to our Diocesan Convention, I called for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor, who we will elect to become my successor. It is my intention to continue to serve as your Bishop Diocesan until the end of 2020. You will be able to see and hear the address here or read it here, but the essence of it is that I think it’s time for me to step aside for new leadership as we continue to share the Good News of the love of God in Jesus Christ in a changing world.
We will release more details about the process of nominating and electing the 12th Bishop of Alabama when they become clear, but it will likely take a year and a half or so, and after we elect and ordain the next bishop, there will be a few months of overlap so that the transition is orderly and smooth.
The part of us that is always on the lookout for something juicy or scandalous will have to be disappointed this time: I have loved being your bishop, and I still do. I’m not mad at anybody, I haven’t lost my faith, I’m not quitting in a huff, and I’m not being run out of town. It’s just time. By the end of 2020, I will be 65 years old and will have been ordained for over 39 years, 13 as a bishop. By the end of 2020, I will have been married to Tina my sweet and patient wife for 33 years, and we want to have some time for travel and new adventures.
The world is changing quickly, and the Church will either change with it or become a museum. I find myself more and more thinking in terms of The Way We’ve Always Done It, and I have loved the Episcopal Church too much for too long to get in the way now. As I say in the address, “Change looked more fun when I was one of the young priests, leaning into the new Prayer Book, supporting the ordination of women.”
So I guess I’m a Lame Duck now, and there’s not much I can do about that. But it’s not time for goodbyes yet; I’m still the bishop for a while, and I really don’t want to spend the next 20 months saying goodbye every time I say hello. There will be time for goodbyes later, and we have a lot of work to do before then.
The Lord bless you, and keep you, and make his face shine upon you.