First-ever female bishop for Episcopal Diocese of Iowa to be ordained Dec. 18

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The Rev. Betsey Monnot will be ordained and consecrated as the 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa on Saturday, Dec. 18th at Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines. Rev. Monnot will be the first female bishop to serve the Diocese of Iowa since it was organized in 1853.

She was elected bishop during a Special Convention held on July 31 in Des Moines, and will succeed retiring Bishop Alan Scarfe, who has served since 2003.

The Rev. Betsey Monnot will become the first female Episcopal Bishop of Iowa in the 168-year history of the diocese on Saturday, Dec. 18.

“I am beyond excited to be your new bishop-elect. My heart is full,” Rev. Monnot said this past summer following her election. “Thank you so much for your confidence in me. I look forward to our ministry together as we follow God’s call into the future that God dreams of for The Episcopal Church in Iowa,” Monnot said in an address to the diocese via Zoom shortly after being notified of her election.

“I am so excited to join you in ministry and to take the next steps soon. May God’s blessing be with all of us as we prepare for our future together, as we journey as disciples of Jesus on the road together, and as we continue to listen for God’s call for the Episcopal Church in Iowa.”

Monnot is the first woman to be elected bishop of Iowa since the diocese was formed in 1853. She was chosen from a slate of all-women candidates that also included the Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly of the Diocese of Virginia and the Rev. Elizabeth Duff Popplewell from the Diocese of Iowa.

The Rev. Kathleen Milligan, chair of the Standing Committee, said on behalf of the committee, “We are thrilled with the election of the Rev. Betsey Monnot as our 10th bishop; and deeply grateful to God for the culmination of a process that began at the end of October in 2019.”

Monnot has been serving as the priest-in-charge at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and as director and retreat leader of Called to Abundant Life: Leadership Consulting. Monnot previously served as missioner for leadership development and networking for the Diocese of Northern California and co-rector with her husband, Michael, at All Saints Episcopal Church in Sacramento, Calif.

Monnot and her husband have three children – William, 16; Robert, 13, and Thomas, 11.

“It is with thanksgiving and praise to God that I welcome Betsey Monnot as the bishop-elect for the Diocese of Iowa,” said the Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, ninth bishop of Iowa. “Over these past 18 years, it has been a great privilege and joy to share in the ministry of Christ with the Episcopal people of Iowa, and I am assured that this will be your wonderful experience as well over many years. We embrace with hope and expectation your leadership as our 10th Bishop.”

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