Raised in Virginia, before becoming an Episcopal priest Phyllis Spiegel worked for the Girl Scouts, did community organizing in Appalachia, taught high school in Kenya, and helped her mother run a small chain of nature stores.
Tomorrow she’ll be ordained and consecrated the 12th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, succeeding my guitar buddy the Rt. Rev. Scott Hayashi. With the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Utah is part of Province VIII, so I’m representing tonight and tomorrow in Salt Lake City.
Our own the Rev. Rachel Nyback, one of Phyllis’s best friends, will serve as her chaplain at tomorrow’s service at the Capitol Theater, capping an epic southwestern road trip with the Rev. Patti Angelo, her colleague from St. Cross Episcopal Church. Also aboard from EDLA is the Rev. Ruth Eller of St. Peter’s San Pedro.
Tonight our Utah siblings hosted a festive reception, enabling me to reconnect with the Rev. Canon Mary June Nestler, my dean and teacher from Bloy House, The Episcopal Theological School at Los Angeles days as well as an expert on Israel and Palestine archaeology; the Rev. Chuck Robertson, the presiding bishop’s canon to the world; the Rt. Rev. David Bailey and Ann Bailey from Navajoland; the Rt. Rev. Peter Eaton of Southeast Florida, who served in Utah in the nineties; the Rt. Rev. Jos Tharakan of Idaho; the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Reddall of Arizona; the Rt. Rev. Lucinda Ashby of El Camino Real; and, perhaps most important of all, a group of amazing women who will help host the new bishop’s seating and investiture service Sunday morning at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Salt Lake City.
Doing the honors for the Holy Spirit, Phyllis, and Utah at tomorrow’s consecration will be the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, former presiding bishop and now (among her several ministries) assisting bishop in Los Angeles.