San Miguel welcomes new bishop to St. Paul’s church
By Valarie Brown Coon
As you can guess by his title, Bishop William Gregg, Ph.D. is a man of faith and the much-anticipated new rector at St. Paul’s Church. His experience and education is formidable, earning a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in 1993, three Master of Arts degrees between 1977 and 1990 and a B.A in 1973. His ordained ministry spans 37 years serving dioceses in Virginia, Indiana and Connecticut and most recently as Bishop of Eastern Oregon and Assistant Bishop of North Carolina.
Rather than retiring, he and his wife Kathy choose to make San Miguel de Allende their next chapter in life. ”I don’t believe it is by chance that we ended up here,” says Bishop William (as he likes to be called). “I feel like my past work and experience have been grooming me for this day and time. During the past seven years I served as the Episcopal link from the Diocese of North Carolina with our companion diocese, the Diocese of Costa Rica, where I began to learn to speak Spanish, write sermons and preside at the liturgy in Spanish. In North Carolina, I was able to preside at the first baptism and confirmation of a newly formed Spanish-speaking congregation in Charlotte, NC.” There were other callings, too. Through the Dioceses of North & East Carolina he served on the Board of Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry, which primarily aided Mexican farm workers. In South Africa and Australia he was challenged to think bigger or differently depending on the local culture. He now serves on the Comisión de Educación Teológica para Americana Latina y el Caribe, in which the Iglesia Anglicana de México participates, as well as the Mexico Covenant Committee of The Episcopal Church and Iglesia Anglicana de México.
Bishop William sees his job here in San Miguel as an opportunity for engaging St. Paul’s to continue to be a vibrant community of faith, to examine its roles and strengthen its relationships with both the Mexican and ex-pat communities and to build forward as a parish of robust ministries in San Miguel. This building forward takes many forms, such as creating legacy programs that may spawn new ministries or expand existing ones in the community that we want to ensure survive. It also includes working with other churches and organizations in San Miguel. “Partnering with other organizations is a great way to further the mission and vision of the church without reinventing the wheel,” says Bishop William, “so these opportunities will be explored once the congregation has agreed on its vision for the church and what it wants to be to the community. Once this vision is clear, we will move from statement to incarnation.” Also essential to him is that the church be a genuine house of hospitality where visitors and members alike feel welcome, safe and cared for. Over the next several months, Bishop William and St. Paul’s Vestry will be meeting to examine its mission, vision and ministries within the parish and with the community at large.
In November he will welcome the arrival of his wife, Kathy, former curator of a doll and toy museum in North Carolina and a 36-year teaching veteran who taught special education for the last 20 years. She and Bishop William should prove to be a formidable couple in San Miguel. Both the Bishop and Kathy are very excited to have been called to St. Paul’s and look forward to a great adventure with the parish.