Spokane's New Episcopal Bishop Talks with Inland Journal

Mar 23, 2017

New Spokane Episcopal Bishop Gretchen Rehberg is surrounded by her colleagues during her ordination ceremony last Saturday.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Last Saturday, Spokane’s Episcopal Diocese installed its first female bishop. Gretchen Rehberg is a Pullman native who went back east to go to college. She earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and taught at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.

Eventually the call to a religious vocation took her away from academia. She went to New York City and studied to be a priest. She was ordained and served her first parish in York, Pennsylvania.

In 2005, she heeded another call, this time to come back to the Northwest, closer to family. She went to work at the Episcopal church in Lewiston, Idaho. Last fall, she heard that Spokane’s Episcopal bishop, James Waggoner, was going to retire, and so she applied.

Doug Nadvornick with Gretchen Rehberg    5:22    “So what’s the process…we just stay in debate.”

Gretchen Rehberg is the new bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane. She is the spiritual leader for 36 churches in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. You can hear Doug's story from her ordination ceremony at the SPR website. Click on the regional news tab.