Wyoming diocese elects John Sheridan Smylie as ninth bishop

March 19, 2010

The Rev. John Sheridan Smylie was elected March 20 as the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, pending the required consents from a majority of the church's diocesan standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction.

Smylie, 57, rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Casper, Wyoming, was elected on the fifth ballot out of a field of six nominees. He received 63 votes of 103 cast in the lay order and 37 of 63 cast in the clergy order. An election on that ballot required 53 in the lay order and 33 in the clergy order.

The electing convention was held at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Laramie, Wyoming.

Smylie 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.

Before being called to St. Mark's as rector in January 2007, Smylie served for two years as a consultant for the bishop and the Diocese of Wyoming.

From 1998-2005, Smylie was dean of Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane, Washington. He has also served parishes in New York and New Jersey.

Smylie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University, New York, and a Master of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He served as a clerical deputy to General Convention in 2009.

According to his election profile, Smylie said: "Prayer and ministry of the word are the foundational actions upon which my life and work are based. These two actions support and enable a sustaining and empowering relationship with God, and God's people. From the abundance found in this connectedness, all else proceeds."

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 is scheduled for July 31 at the Events Center in Casper. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be the chief consecrator.

The other nominees were:

The Diocese of Wyoming serves more than 7,000 Episcopalians in 49 congregations throughout the state.

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