Gunter is the eighth bishop of Fond du Lac, replacing the Rt. Rev. Russell E. Jacobus, who retired after serving as bishop of Fond du Lac for 19 years.
Eight hundred people gathered to participate in a liturgy that recognized Gunter as being “called by God to carry on the apostolic work of leading, supervising, and uniting the church,” according to an April 30 press release.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori led the service as chief consecrator and the Very Rev. William S. Stafford, dean emeritus of the University of the South’s School of Theology, preached. Special guests included the Rt. Rev. Joseph Garang Atem, bishop of Renk in the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.
The worship space of Appleton’s Alliance Church was transformed with the use of an altar, candles, graceful chairs, floral arrangements, banners, and Eucharistic vessels borrowed from congregations around the diocese. The two-hour service included four processions of representatives of the diocese and the church included members of diocesan committees, diocesan staff, youth presence, participants in the liturgy, ecumenical guests, members of religious orders, priests, deacons and visiting bishops.
Music was provided by a diocesan-wide choir and a number of soloists. The anthem “Go Preach My Gospel” was performed. It was composed by David Neff, who also conducted the choir. The Episcopal Singers provided a number of hymns in Oneida, including the singing of the Te Deum in Oneida, a tradition whose roots go to the founding of the Diocese of Wisconsin in 1847.
Gunter will be enthroned on May 17 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Fond du Lac at 1 p.m.