After 13 years, the Topeka-based Episcopal Diocese of Kansas will soon have a new bishop, with the departure after this weekend of the Rt. Rev. Dean E. Wolfe, who is moving to a parish in New York City.
When he became the ninth bishop in the 157-year history of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas on Jan. 1, 2004, upon the retirement of his predecessor, the Rt. Rev. William E. Smalley, Wolfe seemed to have a firm grasp of many of the challenges that awaited him.
At that time, the denomination was facing controversies and disagreements — notably, consecration of the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.
The controversies caused divisions within the denomination, including in Kansas, where the largest Episcopal church in Overland Park broke ranks.
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