The Candidates for Bishop
(In Alphabetical Order)
The Rev. Matthew D. Cowden
Rector of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, South Bend, Indiana
The Reverend Matthew D. Cowden has served as Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels in South Bend, Indiana since the summer of 2009. By God’s grace, Matthew’s love for his people and gifts in leadership have helped his congregation transform from surviving to thriving. He also serves in wider church governance as a member of Executive Council of The Episcopal Church. The Executive Council is often referred to as the “vestry” for the national church and it is here that Matthew interfaces with Episcopal Relief & Development as well as the officers and staff of The Episcopal Church.
Matthew is married to Melissa, an Early Childhood educator and administrator. They have three children: two grown, Meghan and Nicholas, and one about to graduate from high school, Joshua. Before being ordained to the priesthood Matthew was an actor and a college professor. With two degrees in the dramatic arts, he spent many years performing, teaching and directing in theaters and schools from Miami to Los Angeles.
From childhood and into his teenage years he was raised in the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers. He considers the Quaker practice of “waiting on the Spirit” to be a vital part of his Rule of Life and continues to sit daily in Contemplative Prayer. As part of his renewal activities, Matthew took up distance running over the last ten years and ran his fifth, annual half-marathon earlier this year.
The Rev. Christopher Brooke Craun
Rector of St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church, Portland, Oregon
The Reverend Christopher Craun grew up in Oakland, California surrounded by a large extended family, an Episcopal church with a dedicated youth leader, coaches, and family friends. There is always curiosity about her name. Her family includes aunts named Kevin and Cameron so traditionally male names were usual.
Christopher is mom to four-year-old soccer and gymnastics enthusiast Jack Sterling. After college, Christopher participated in the Youth Ministry Academy, a pilot program of the Diocese of California. Through this work and the tugging of the Holy Spirit, she discerned a call to the priesthood. While at General Seminary in New York City, Christopher was inspired as a seminarian at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church by the unique intersection of the city outside its walls and the ministry-motivated congregants inside. This is also where she learned about the development of a Spanish-speaking congregation within a predominately white church.
As the Rector of St. Michael & All Angels in Portland, Oregon, she has demonstrated the capacity to lead both steadily and strategically, gathering and connecting people, and to be out front to proclaim the Good News of God’s unconditional love. Her sabbatical included travel to Mexico and Peru to deepen her understanding of Latinx culture and increase her fluency in Spanish. In 2017, she led her congregation through a vision process incorporating knowledge gained as a trainer for the College for Congregational Development. She has a reputation for enthusiasm, using sports analogies to encourage teamwork, and loving every moment that her kid loves church.
The Rev. Canon Megan Traquair
Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Arizona, Phoenix, Arizona
The Reverend Canon Megan M. Traquair is an active follower of Jesus Christ and Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Arizona. She has deep roots in California. She was raised in Santa Barbara when it was a sleepy town, graduated from Pomona College in Claremont and received her MDiv at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, IL. Ordained in 1992 in the Diocese of Los Angeles she has led congregations in Tucson, towns near South Bend and Indianapolis, and Los Angeles.
As Canon she runs all aspects of clergy Transition (deployment). She coaches clergy and congregations in Conflict Resolution and leads Strategic Planning. She has mentored locally-raised Hispanic clergy and supported the Hispanic Program Group in the diocese. She was a key developer of a non-profit management program for clergy: “Best Skills - Best Churches – What Seminary Didn’t Teach You.” By popular demand it recently expanded to include lay leaders and ecumenical leaders.
Serving churches both in rural and urban areas, Megan has an enduring interest in church growth and the active formation of disciples. She values preaching and good liturgy which speaks to the people and strengthens us for engaging with Jesus and serving the world.
Her interests include gardening, genealogy, hiking and history. Her husband Philip is a pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. They have been partners and best friends as well as parents. They have two children: Hannah who teaches high school in Tucson, and Benjamin, who is an engineer in Colorado.
The Rev. Randall R. Warren, D.Min.
Rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan
The Reverend Randall R. Warren is Rector of St. Luke’s in Kalamazoo, Michigan, a parish that had suffered a failed pastorate. He became Priest-in-Charge in 2011. Leading the congregation in vision discernment, he was elected Rector in 2014. This work was pastoral and structural, involving healing, refocusing on ministry not drama, fully integrating children into Sunday worship, financial processes redevelopment, staff recruitment, and ecumenical engagement. Randall currently serves on the diocesan Standing and Finance Committees and supports a local interfaith community organizing group.
Before this, Randall was Diocese of Chicago Canon for Pastoral Care. This included congregational consulting, providing workshops for lay and ordained leaders, continued development of the abuse prevention program, pastoral care of clergy and families, convention planning, and ordination screening. As Transition Minister starting in 2008, he assisted clergy and congregations in searches. Church-wide, he served on the Title IV Task Force on Education, has consulted on sensitive pastoral issues, and contributed to Enriching Our Worship 2,
Randall served as a hospice chaplain, providing spiritual care for patients, families, hospice and nursing home staff; helping lead the hospice interdisciplinary team. He also served in various Church positions, including Interim Minister, Vicar, Pastoral Response Team Member, Deacons’ Formation Instructor, and Diocesan Trouble-Shooter.
Born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Randall has been a priest for 29 years. His DMin (Pastoral Counseling) is from The Graduate Theological Foundation. His MDiv is from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. His hobbies are pottery, sewing, and wearing vibrant socks.