These are difficult days in Episcopal Land. People come and go and only the bravest dares opine as to what it all means.
The Bishop of Western Kansas, James Adams, has decided being bishop is not what he is called at this point to be. He has every right to take charge of his own spiritual health and to say enough is enough. He is going to the Diocese of Central Florida to be a vicar of a new congregation there. The Diocese of Central Florida is a lively and interesting place and we can all hope that he has a wonderful ministry there.
The announcement of his leaving, posted by The Lead and by The Living Church. Both stories announce that the bishop will become a vicar of a parish beginning his duties in March 2010. Neither mentions the fact that according to the Constitution of The Episcopal Church Bishop Adams must get the consent of the House of Bishops before he can resign his jurisdiction. (Art II, Sec. 6. A Bishop may not resign jurisdiction without the consent of the House of Bishops.)
The House of Bishops next meets in late March 2010, after Bishop Adams will have taken up his new post.
There is no reason, as far as I know, why the House of Bishops would not consent to his resignation of jurisdiction.
The Living Church article makes inference to an interesting possibility in Kansas:
"... Bishop Adams saw himself as a possible obstacle to the small and geographically scattered diocese transforming itself into something more viable. He would be senior bishop if Western Kansas were to merge with any contiguous diocese, but he doubts that he would receive approval to function as bishop of such an expanded territory. Bishop Adams believes his departure gives the diocese a chance to work through its own future, and an alternative arrangement such as sharing a bishop with another diocese."
The suggestion that there is some strategic reason for his leaving can be understood as giving further justification for his receiving consents to resign. If his leaving were a matter of assessing his spiritual strengths and seeing the need to return to parish ministry, that would be one thing. If his leaving is a matter of opening the way for conversations about merging with another diocese, that is another.
I hope is leaving brings him new joys and Western Kansas new possibilities.