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In Memoriam: The Rt. Rev. R. Stewart Wood

Bishop Shannon with Bishop Wood during a visit to St. Paul’s, White River Junction.

Dear People of God,

In the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, I write with the sad news that Bishop R. Stewart Wood died on July 30 at Kendal at Hanover. He was 89.

Bishop Wood was the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Michigan, where I first knew him, and where he was kind enough to encourage my ministry when I was first called to ordination. After retiring in 2000, Stew and his wife, Kristin, relocated to Quechee and then, in 2013, to Hanover, New Hampshire, where Stew had earned his bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth and where they had first lived after they were married in 1955.

Stew was known throughout his episcopacy as a champion of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church, workers’ rights, and welcome for immigrants and refugees. We were blessed with his ministry in retirement when Stew, together with Kristin, became a beloved member of St. Paul’s in White River Junction. He often encouraged the congregation to try new ministries and served as a mentor to lay and clergy leaders alike. I was grateful for his care and support as I began my episcopacy, and I will miss him deeply.

In our last conversation, when I visited him in the hospital last week, he reflected on his recent ministry as a companion to those planning a service for their loved ones who had died. We spoke of the many people whose lives and ministries he encouraged and supported through the years, and how he continues to serve through us.

Kristin Wood died in May, and so this second loss makes an especially difficult time for their beloved family. Please pray for their children: Please pray for their children: Lisa (Peter Michelson) of Medfield, MA; Raymond (Mary Anne); and Michael (Denise) of Moraga, CA; their eight grandchildren, and for all who loved and cared for them.

Stew’s funeral will take place on September 9 at 1:00 p.m. at Rollins Chapel at Dartmouth College.

May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Peace and blessings,

Bishop Shannon

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