The first female bishop of the 168-year history of the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa will be ordained this weekend. Rev. Betsey Monnot will be the 10th bishop of the diocese.
“That stained glass ceiling is breaking,” Monnot says. “It is shattering and I want to say that in Iowa, more than half of our congregations are currently led by female clergy, so there’s been a lot of cracks in that stained glass ceiling. and tomorrow it will shatter.”
Monnot was among four female candidates for the post. She was serving a congregation in California when elected Iowa bishop this summer. Rev. Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, says her election is part of the church showing society there is room for all.
“For everybody equally,” he says, “and when that begins to happen, we’ll have a different world — not just a different church, but a different world.”
More than 400 people are expected to attend the ordination and consecration ceremony for the new Iowa bishop of the Episcopal Church tomorrow. There are five dozen episcopal congregations in Iowa, but the ceremony will be held in the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, one of the largest churches in the state, to allow for social distancing and other pandemic protocols. The service, which starts at 11 a.m., will also be livestreamed.
(Reporting by Iowa Public Radio’s Kassidy Arena)