Meet the Committee

The search for a bishop and transition to a new bishop requires three important groups of people: the Standing Committee, the Search Committee, and the Transition Committee. Each has different responsibilities and roles.

The Standing Committee

  • Monitors the search, nominating and transition processes
  • Oversees the electing convention and consecration
  • Makes the final recommendations of a slate for election

You can contact the Standing Committee regarding the overall search process at: 

Steve Sims
office@episcopalnevada.org
9480 S Eastern Ave #236
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Standing Committee Members

  • Maggie Davidson, Southwest Lay Representative (Chair)
  • The Rev. Sarah Dunn, Northwest Clergy Representative (Liaison to the Search Committee)
  • Arthur J. (AJ) Flint, Frontier Lay Representative
  • Sandy Hudgens, Central Lay Representative
  • The Rev. Rose Mary Joe-Kinale, Central Clergy Representative
  • The Rev. Antonio Lopez, Southeast Clergy Representative
  • The Rev. John McClatchy, Southwest Clergy Representative
  • Tia Mittelstadt, Northwest Lay Representative
  • The Rev. Richard (Red) Sims, Frontier Clergy Representative
  • Georgia Wenzel, Southeast Lay Representative

Non-voting members:

  • Rt. Rev. Jim Waggoner, Assisting Bishop
  • Rev. Dr. Catherine Gregg, Canon to the Ordinary and Chief of Staff
  • Donald Barsky, Finance Officer
  • Kathleen Bliss, Chancellor
  • Dick Stufflebeam, Treasurer
  • Steve Sims, Recording Secretary

The Search Committee

The Bishop Search Committee is responsible for developing the Diocesan Profile, screening and interviewing candidates (including the Discernment Retreat at Camp Galilee), and presenting a final slate of candidates to the Standing Committee.

Our pledge to the Diocese is to keep you updated and included on our progress as we seek a courageous leader for this diverse, unique and exceptional place we call home.

Thank you for your prayers, your support and your guidance on this journey.

Click Photos to View Bios

Click Photos to View Bios

  • Responsible for deep listening and discernment around what kind of spiritual leader and skills are needed in the next Bishop of Nevada
  • Formulating a position profile for Standing Committee approval
  • Developing the application process and materials for potential candidates, and for implementing a candidate screening process
  • Attracting and reviewing quality candidates
  • Recommending a slate of 3-5 applicant names to the Standing Committee to be considered as bishop of the Episcopal Church in Nevada

Contact the Search Committee regarding the current Bishop Search at: 

Hank Hope 
hank@christepiscopallv.org
9480 S. Eastern Ave. Suite 236
Las Vegas, NV  89123

Search Committee Members

  • Linda Faiss, Chair       
  • Veronica Galas
  • Charlene McKenzie
  • Guy Moreno
  • Bob Nelson
  • Rafael Pereira Alvarez
  • Bonnie Polley
  • Kenneth Rackley
  • Agatha Ramirez de Almaraz
  • Richard Schori
  • Michael Engfer, Chaplain
  • Hank Hope, Search Administrator

The Transition Committee

The Transition Committee is responsible for conducting walkabouts with the final candidates throughout the Diocese, planning the ordination and consecration, and assisting the new Bishop’s family in their relocation to Nevada.   


  • Coordinating the bishop candidate road trip
  • Working closely with candidates during the election process
  • Planning and implementing the consecration service for the new bishop

Contact the Transition Committee regarding the current Bishop Search at:

Hank Hope 
hank@christepiscopallv.org
9480 S. Eastern Ave. Suite 236
Las Vegas, NV  89123

Transition Committee Members

Committee Composition – TBD

Bob Nelson

After enlisting in the Navy, Bob served as a “spook” in the electronic intelligence gathering world. He was then promoted, completed college in a Navy program, was commissioned, and entered the Naval Nuclear Submarine Program. Bob subsequently became qualified in the operation of a nuclear reactor and went on to manage the Nuclear Power Station in Shippingport, PA, for the Navy. He later moved to Washington, DC and ultimately to Las Vegas where he worked as the Manager of the Department of Energy’s Nevada Operations Office before retiring.

During Bob’s work in Nevada, he was the Test Controller (the person in charge with the authority from the President to conduct a nuclear detonation) for many nuclear explosive tests at the Nevada Test Site. He also managed the Nuclear Emergency Search Team which had the responsibility to render safe a terrorist nuclear device if the U.S. was threatened. Bob learned to operate an M1AI Abrams tank, a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, a Blackhawk helicopter, an F117 Stealth fighter and to do operations with the most elite US commandos. He had a major role in preparation with the FBI and military units for a possible terrorist event during the 1984 Olympics in the Los Angeles area, and also survived being the target of a 60 Minutes TV expose of the Rocky Flats plant.

Bob became a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in 1978. He served on the Diocesan Council during the tenure of the Rt. Rev. Wesley Frensdorff, whom Bob says “by far had the most impact on my spiritual life and really got me into the process toward ordination.” That was a real surprise to Bob because Wes was the most anti-nuclear person he ever met. Bob was ordained to the priesthood in 1987 and served for several years as a priest at All Saints. He also served as chair of the Commission on Ministry and became Canon to the Ordinary when Katharine Jefferts Schori became Bishop of Nevada. He served in the same capacity for Bishop Dan Edwards. When Katharine became Presiding Bishop, Bob accompanied her as Canon in her role as Presiding Bishop for much of her first year in New York. Bob continues to serve at All Saints and also help the Bishop’s staff on special projects when needed.

Hank Hope

Hank Hope was born in Charlotte, NC, the youngest of two children. Hank grew up in the suburbs of Charlotte and then Portland, OR before moving to Las Vegas as a teen in 1983 and joining Christ Church Las Vegas with his family.

Hank served as an acolyte and was active in EYC at Christ Church before graduating high school with honors and obtaining a BA in Communications from UNLV. At UNLV, Hank was active in Protestant Campus Ministry at the Interfaith Student Center at UNLV while still attending Christ Church. He was also active in Search (a youth version of Cursillo) throughout high school and college and is now active in Via de Cristo, the Lutheran version of Cursillo.

Hank feels blessed to have "come out" at age 17 and to have found open minds and open hearts in his own church, when so many other LGBTQ youth are driven out of churches of other faiths, never to know that God's grace includes them. Thirty years after joining Christ Church, prayers were answered when Hank met his partner, Gerry Jones, AT Christ Church, deepening his involvement and service to the church.

Now 37 years after first attending Christ Church, Hank is again active as an acolyte (with Gerry) and both serve on the altar guild and in other capacities. Hank is currently serving his second year as senior warden while Gerry, a former senior warden himself, mentors an EFM class and pursues the deaconate. They look forward to one day marrying at Christ Church, and appreciate the diversity and inclusiveness of both Christ Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada.

Veronica Galas

Veronica Galas is the middle child of seven, born to blue collar parents and grandparents who immigrated to the United States from Poland. She grew up in Omaha, NE, lived in St Louis, MO for 6 years and has called Nevada home since 2001.

She grew up Roman Catholic in a post-Vatican II world and attended a Catholic grade school and high school taught by lay women and men as well as the Servants of Mary who served the parish and founded the high school. College life and the nursing program at the Jesuit University she attended, Creighton, shaped her faith formation towards one of social justice and service. She participated in campus ministry, the Peace and Justice Center, service trips during spring breaks, and retreats.

Veronica’s faith formation was shaped further by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, with whom she lived and learned in community, leaving prior to professing vows to become a Catholic Sister.

Love brought her to Nevada and a mid-life journey had her discovering the openness of the Episcopal Church. She married her partner of 19 years on 7/7/17 and ordained a Vocational Deacon on 7/28/19.

Veronica says that she and her wife hike the Sierras, rescue senior dogs, and simply enjoy their company together and with friends. Through the Episcopal Church, the mystery of God integrated and reconciled the life of her youth with how she now serves at St Peter’s in Carson City and within the Diocese of Nevada.

Richard Schori

A cradle Episcopalian from Evanston, Illinois, Richard was educated in the Midwest, ultimately receiving an MS and Ph.D in Mathematics from the University of Iowa with Topology as his research area. His first job was as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at LSU. There, Richard’s research in topology flourished with a couple co-researchers and he was a part of the establishment of a new research area called infinite-dimensional topology. The positive results hastened his promotion to full professor and enabled his election to the position as Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Oregon State University (OSU).

Arriving in Corvallis, home of OSU, in 1978, Richard met Katharine at the Episcopal church. She was a grad student in Oceanography at OSU. They married a year later and their daughter Kate was born in 1981. In 1983, Katharine received her Ph.D. in Oceanography, but her career suffered as the US government research money in the field dried up. In 1991, Katharine started seminary to become an Episcopal priest and in October 2000, she was elected Bishop of Nevada. Richard was able to retire in 2001 and they lived in Henderson, NV, until moving to Reno in 2016.

At OSU, Richard was involved in developing websites for teaching calculus as a distance education course. He ran the Diocese of Nevada website from 2001 for several years. He also became a member of the Board of Directors at Galilee and ran their website for about 10 years. While Katharine was Bishop of Nevada, Richard traveled with her and regularly took photos of the services and coffee hours to post on the diocesan website. Bishop Dan Edwards later told Richard that the photos on the website had a significant influence on his interest in the job.

In 2006, Katharine was elected Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church for the standard nine-year term, ending in November of 2015. This dramatically changed their lives, as they were supplied an apartment in Manhattan. Katharine travelled 80% of the time throughout the USA and 16 other countries, as well as to many of the 37 other Anglican Provinces.

With Katherine, Richard has been to many of the 110 dioceses in the Episcopal Church and to quite of few of the other Anglican Provinces. On these trips, he continued his photography and supplied the Episcopal News Service with photos and a few articles. From this, Richard published a photo-book of highlights of Katharine’s years as Presiding Bishop; published by Forward Movement and titled Through the Lens, a Presiding Bishop’s Ministry to the World. As the spouse of a bishop, and then the Presiding Bishop, Richard says he has been blessed with many opportunities. He has travelled the world, met with many interesting people, including the last two Archbishops of Canterbury as well as Bishop Desmond Tutu, and photographed more than 50 consecrations of new bishops.

Michael Engfer

A Rector, Chaplain and Major in the United States Air Force, Michael is originally from the Tacoma, Washington area. For several years he served as a pastor in Pennsylvania, New York and Hawaii. Michael served as a professor and vice president at a Christian college in New York and then as a professor and president of a Bible Institute in Hawaii.

Michael moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and joined the United States Air Force Reserves and serves as a Major and Wing Chaplain for all reserve airmen at Nellis Air Force Base in a part-time capacity. His full-time ministry is as Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church. Michael also has served the St. Rose Hospital network as an On-Call Chaplain. Father Michael has a passion for reaching young people and helping those who are marginalized based on any form of discrimination.
Michael is married to Kate Engfer and they have four beautiful children, Hannah, Rachel, Sarah and Elijah. They also have one grandchild named Rocky Michael. They have lived in Henderson for more than 10 years.

His educational background includes: Doctor of Ministry, United Lutheran Seminary (Dissertation in Progress); Doctoral Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, Biblical Theological Seminary, Hawaii Theological Seminary and Marywood University; Masters of Military Operational Art and Science Degree (In Progress); and Clinical Pastoral Education.

Fun Facts about Michael:

 

Kenneth Rackley

A native Nevadan, Ken was born in Reno in 1970, baptized and confirmed at St. Stephen’s. He attended Grace St. Francis in Lovelock as a child. His family has been and continues to be very involved in the Diocese of Nevada.

While serving as Deacon at Coventry Cross in Minden, he also works with parishes around the state with a focus on youth engagement. He assists the Diocese in scheduling and preparing the diocese’s high school youth to attend the national Episcopal Youth Event every three years.

Ken received a Master of Science in Education specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) in 2018. He currently teaches second grade in a low socio-economic school in Reno.

Ken worked with the Diocese of Utah’s Camp Tuttle in his early twenties, serving as Director of Jr High and Youth Ministry. After returning to Reno, he worked as part time Youth Director at St Paul’s Sparks, where he was deeply involved in Happening and TEC. He organized retreat weekends for youth seeking a deeper relationship with God. He met and married his wife while at St Paul’s and they are guardians of their great niece and nephew.

Ken says that they love spending leisure time attending professional soccer, Reno1868FC, and their great nephew’s soccer matches. They also enjoy Pizza Fridays, Taco Tuesdays and spending time in their backyard around the fire pit.

Bonnie Polley

Bonnie was born and raised in Lake Charles, La. Bonnie was baptized as an infant in the Church of the Good Shepherd in Lake Charles and confirmed at the age of 11. She was very active in EYC as a teenager. Putting God on the back burner after she graduated from high school, Bonnie attended the University of Colorado where she met her husband David. After graduation, Law School took them further west and upon graduation they moved and settled in Las Vegas, where they raised their three sons. The boys were baptized as infants and church became a part of their lives on Sundays because that was the “right thing” to do.

Getting involved with a group to read and study the book, The Edge of Adventure, an Experiment in Faith, turned her life upside down and she met Jesus. Jesus sent her to jail, or rather to minister to those in jail. Ordained a deacon in 1982, Bonnie was founding director of the outreach programs at Christ Church Las Vegas. Committed to helping the helpless, Bonnie serves on several boards whose focus is meeting the needs of the less fortunate. One of Bonnie’s highlights was being a founding member of the Shade Tree, an emergency shelter for women and children. For the last 38 years, Bonnie has served as chaplain at the Clark County Detention Center.

Rafael Alexis Pereira Alvarez

Rafael was born in Caracas, Venezuela on October 15, 1967, the youngest of four brothers. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Master’s Degree in Finance Management. At the age of 25, he married Angela Scutaro and they were blessed with two beautiful children, Fabiana, 25 and Angel,18. In November of 2018, Rafael became a “Grandpa.” He is a CPA, an entrepreneur and business owner. He came to the U.S. in 2000 and in 2003 started a parcel service business that he still owns with more than 25 delivery routes in the Las Vegas area.

In 2012, Rafael began serving in the Episcopal church in several ministries; as lector, Eucharist Minister, catechist, and leader of the Latino services. Through service to neighbors, the poor, the needy and the sick, and by the grace of God, Rafael says he received the call to serve God. In 2016, he was ordained as transitional deacon and in 2017 became the first Latino priest trained and ordained in the Diocese of Nevada.

As the Senior Associate Priest at All Saints Las Vegas, he is the celebrant at the 11:30 am and 1:00 pm Sunday services for the Latino community, which includes almost 420 parishioners. Rafael serves the Latino community as a volunteer chaplain at Sunrise Hospital and a board member of the SNHD. He was also the Treasurer of the Dioceses for two years. As a faith leader, he provides guidance and hope to those who seek help, and is dedicated to families through marriage and youth counseling.

Rafael says that he feels God is leading him to participate in the development of a seminary in Las Vegas in Spanish for those who are called to serve for the West Coast.

Rafael’s favorite foods are Italian and Sushi; He enjoys playing and watching baseball; If he could be any fictional character, it would it be Peter Pan; His favorite attribute of God is Healer; and his favorite Bible verse is John 14:6.

Guy Moreno

Guy Moreno was born and raised in Reno, Nevada alongside two sisters. His first spiritual experiences were with his sisters and father as members of a Roman Catholic Parish in Northwest Reno, where he attended parochial school. After avoiding church throughout high school and college, he sought to deepen his relationship with God by searching for a new spiritual home. In 2015 Guy first sat in a pew at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and “got stuck in” after meeting all of the warm and friendly members of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada.

Guy has been called to several ministries as a member of the Cathedral parish including but not limited to serving as a Eucharistic Minister, an Acolyte, and as a member of the Parish Vestry from 2017 to 2020. His favorite passage of Scripture at the moment is Jeremiah 29:11

Guy received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science & Sociology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2015. He seeks to further his education and work with children in the near future.

In addition to his church activities, Guy has:

Charlene McKenzie

Charlene was born and raised in Bellaire, Ohio, the last of six children. Her mother was an only child and longed for a large family. Being avid baseball fans, her parents set their sights on nine children, equivalent to a baseball team.

Charlene describes her mother as an elegant homemaker and her father a compassionate businessman. “Compassionate,” because 50 years after his death, some patrons stated that their families probably still owed him for letting them “slide” during hard times. Accordingly, Charlene and her siblings were mandated to “give back,” so she volunteered at the Salvation Army while in elementary school. Her church was socially active, and her family participated in fundraisers.

A highlight of her young teen life was when her father took her to the historic March on Washington! Years later, she moved to Washington, DC and attended the University of the District of Columbia. She married and had two brilliant children. She worked as a legal assistant to lawyers and judges. Charlene also found time to be a literacy tutor, to mentor, and to feed the homeless in her community.

After moving to Las Vegas in 2005, Charlene joined Christ Church Episcopal where she serves as a lector and greeter. She has also served on the Rector’s Profile Committee and volunteered at Treasure House, the church's thrift store.

In Las Vegas, Charlene has tutored UNLV students and attends UNLV/OLLI classes where she serves on the Membership Engagement Committee. In addition, she is a Red Cross volunteer. Charlene walks (leisurely) for exercise, creates artwork, repurposes materials, journals, reads, and writes essays and poems.

Linda Faiss

Linda’s faith journey began as a child with St. Peter’s, Carson City and St. John’s in the Wilderness at Galilee, followed by All Saints, Las Vegas and St. Christopher’s, Boulder City. For decades, she was an engaged and enthusiastic member of the diocese. Until she drifted away.

Then she read the news about Nevada Bishop Dan Edwards’ activism on behalf of veterans who had to endure half-day bus rides from the Veteran’s Home in Boulder City to the Veteran’s Hospital in North Las Vegas. He and members of Nevadans for the Common Good invited the media on the same bus ride, and it changed public transportation in southern Nevada. She went back to church and joined Nevadans for the Common Good. Social justice activism is how she practices her faith in the community.

At the Nevada Women's Political Caucus in the 1980's, Linda helped prepare women to run for office and win. More recently, she helped launch the Women’s March “Power to the Polls,” a national mobilization to register a million voters before the 2018 mid-term elections. Las Vegas was the kick-off site because Nevada is now a state that has elected women to lead on all levels – from cities to Congress.

For 22 years, Linda was president of Faiss Foley Warren Public Relations & Public Affairs. In the community, she is on the Nevada Humanities board, and a founding member of the International Women’s Forum in Nevada. She also served for many years on the board for St. Jude’s Ranch for Children, the only residential treatment provider for abused, abandoned and sex-trafficked children in Nevada.

At home, Linda enjoy cooking with her husband, walking their dogs and practicing yoga -- especially the Warrior pose.

Agatha Ramirez

The oldest of five siblings, Agatha was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and raised a Roman Catholic. Her first communion and confirmation was as a teenager in an Augustinian church. During that time and after, she was really involved in the church through the "Pastoral Juvenil" (Youth Groups).
In 2001, Agatha came to Las Vegas to live with her father and his family. In 2007, she started attending All Saints Episcopal, as it had just started offering Spanish services and was only 0.4 miles away from her house. She immediately got involved with the catechism classes, lector, choir, Lay Eucharist Minister, the Spanish council and everything that was necessary for the Ministry to work.

Agatha has been married for eight years to a pianist and together they serve God through their church as co-directors of the Spanish choir. Agatha also serves on the Vestry, Altar Guild, and as a leader representing her church with Nevadans for the Common Good (NCG) and on the C3 Board and Steering committee. She is also co-chair of the Southern Mission District (SMD) of the Diocese of Nevada, serves on the Galilee Board of Trustees, and was elected a Deputy for Nevada to the 2021 Episcopal General Convention.

Agatha says it is and will always be a pleasure to serve our God through the church, and she is truly grateful to be part of the Bishop Search Committee. “May God bless us always.”