The Very Rev. Robert Neske, dean of St. Mark's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Hastings, Nebraska, has withdrawn from the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming's bishop search process.
No reason was given by the search committee in the Dec. 12 posting to its website here.
The committee announced a five-person slate of nominees on Dec. 7. The remaining candidates are:
- the Rev. Rebecca Brown, 59, rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Foxborough, Massachusetts (Diocese of Massachusetts);
- the Very Rev. Canon F. Michael Perko, 63, dean, Diocesan School for Ministry and Canon to the Ordinary/Ecclesiastical Authority (Diocese of the Rio Grande);
- the Rev. Canon Dr. Clark Michael Sherman, 52, rector, St. James Episcopal Church, Bozeman, Montana (Diocese of Montana); and
- the Rev. John Sheridan Smylie, 57, rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Casper, Wyoming (Diocese of Wyoming).
Clergy and laity in the diocese can nominate other candidates during a petition process that opened with the Dec. 7 announcement. The deadline for those nominations is Dec. 21. Information about that process is here.
The election will take place in March 2010. The person elected will succeed Bishop Bruce Caldwell, the eighth bishop of the diocese, who will retire in mid-2010 after 12 and a half years as bishop.
Under the canons of the Episcopal Church (III.11.4), a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees must consent to the bishop-elect's ordination within 120 days of receiving notice of the election. The consecration and ordination tentatively is set for July 24, 2010.
The Diocese of Wyoming encompasses 97,818 square miles and approximately 7,400 Episcopalians worshipping in 45 congregations.