Rector, All Souls Parish, Berkeley
Diocese of California
M.Div – The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, New York, NY
B.A. American Studies – University of California, Berkeley
I was born in San Francisco, baptized at St. John’s, Oakland, and formed in the transformative youth program there. I grew up in the Oakland public schools, then went to Cal. I have served in five of our six deaneries over twenty-five years, for the past fifteen as Rector of All Souls, Berkeley. The Diocese of California is my home, and I believe I am called to be your bishop.
I know our many blessings and our challenges, the great beauty and the wounded spots of this diocese and its people. And, I am committed, with heart and soul, to all of them. Over the years people have encouraged me to consider that I might be called to be a bishop. And, frankly, for some, I look the part. I have wrestled with the question of whether any person privileged as I am — a white, cis-gender, heterosexual man — could be the bishop this diocese needs.
In the spirit of communal discernment, I have listened. I have entered into deep conversations with the people of this diocese and beyond. I have listened to young women, queer folk, people of color, and people from other groups who have been historically marginalized in our diocese. Many of those people, based on the work they have seen me do, and the relationships we have developed, feel I am called to be their bishop.
I understand there will be those who feel they cannot support me before they ever meet me but hearing the honest and considered responses of people across this diocese, lay and ordained, has led me to believe I can, with integrity, lead all the parts of this diocese. They believe I am called because I create and hold space for people of many and varied identities to find their path and follow their call; they believe that I am a natural bridge-builder. In my time as Rector of All Souls, we have lifted up wonderfully diverse lay leaders, staff, assisting priests, and those seeking ordination. I am eager to build on this work, redeveloping our congregations and diocesan leadership until we thoroughly reflect the remarkable diversity of our wider Bay Area.
I am excited to talk more with our diocese about the restoration of trust, creative practices of sustainability, and generative hope for our communities. Throughout this process I have come to trust in the collective wisdom of God speaking through the people of this diocese. This is why I am responding to the call to be our next bishop. Thank you for the opportunity to engage in this holy work of discernment, in a place and with a people I love.
The Rev. Phil Brochard