The Rev. Canon Gretchen M. Rehberg, Class of 2002, has been elected as the Ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane. She is the 59th woman to be elected Bishop in the Anglican Communion and the first in the Diocese of Spokane. Rehberg will be starting the work of Bishop-Elect in February, and pending the required consents from a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church, will be ordained and consecrated as Bishop in March 2017 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane. She will succeed the Rt. Rev. James (Jim) Waggoner, Jr., who was consecrated the Eighth Bishop of the diocese in 2000.
Rehberg has served as the Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Lewiston, Idaho, since 2006. She is the chair of the Commission on Ministry, a Canon for Regional Mission, and a trainer for the College for Congregational Development in the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane. In these ministries she has combined her passion for equipping people for ministry and assisting congregations in becoming more faithful, healthy, and effective communities of faith.
She has an M.Div. from The General Theological Seminary, a D.Min. from Wesley Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Rehberg is a former university chemistry professor and worked as a firefighter and emergency medical technician. She was on the scene on Sept. 11, 2001, and helped care for some of the survivors of that disaster.
“I am incredibly humbled and honored to be elected Bishop of our diocese,” she said in a statement. "Only one person is elected Bishop, but the work is all of ours.”
Rehberg is passionate about proclaiming the inclusive love of God and equipping the people of God for transformation and growth. Christian formation for all ages is of vital importance to her, and she stresses the need for both rigorous engagement and the need for openness and humility in learning.