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Our Staff

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The Right Reverend Michael Milliken-Assisting Bishop

 The Right Reverend Michael P. Milliken was consecrated as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas on February 19, 2011, following his election in August of 2010. The Bishop was consecrated by The Most Reverend Kathrine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church at the time; The Right Reverend Dean Wolfe, Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Kansas; and The Right Reverend Vernon Strickland, Third Bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas.

Michael P. Milliken was born March 13, 1947, in Lexington, Kentucky. Bishop Milliken originally dreamed of        becoming a physician, but the Holy Spirit had other ideas and led him into the ordained ministry.
Bishop Milliken served as both Bishop of this diocese and Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Hutchinson for three years. Bishop Milliken is the first Bishop to take on a dual role in 150 years. The experiment of a dual role Bishop was a success, and this model has now been shared with other small diocese. On December 31st, 2014, Bishop Milliken stepped down from his position as Rector in order to commit himself full time to the future of the diocese. His vision for the Diocese of Western Kansas is to empower the laity to go out into their communities and minister in the name of Jesus Christ so that all may find hope and abundant life.

On November 30, 2018, Bishop Milliken retired (resigned) as the Sixth Bishop. Bishop Milliken continues to serve in the Diocese as an assisting Bishop.

 The Reverend Canon Jerry Jones - Canon to the Ordinary

Canon Jones was a senior in high school he realized he wanted to be a priest in the church. From college, Canon Jones went off to seminary.  He graduated from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill. May 1965.  Ordination to the Deaconate on June 6, 1965, and Priesthood on December 7, 1965.  

His first call was to his home parish, All Saints, Omaha, Neb. He served as curate under the direction and mentorship of his rector of many years.  After 3 years, Canon Jones' bishop decided that he needed a “mission experience”.  He was sent 375 miles west to the sandhills of Nebraska.  He served 3 small mission churches (Gordon, Rushville, and Merriman) and returned to Omaha as vicar of a newly formed mission congregation. Next, he served as Rector of St. Matthew’s, Newton, Kansas. After 3 years there he was asked to be associate rector at St. Stephen’s, Wichita. Canon Jones' next call was as senior curate at All Saints, Fort Worth, TX.  (It was there that he crashed and burned). Divorce; and a dark period in his life. He moved back to Omaha and by the compassionate direction of the Bishop of Nebraska, was assigned a mission congregation, Trinity Church, Crete, Ne.  That was followed by Vicar of St. Elizabeth, Holdrege and St. Paul’s, Arapaho. Off to Casper, Wy. as rector of St. Stephen’s and Christ Church, Glenrock, Wy.

It was in the Diocese of Wyoming that Canon Jones met Vernon Strickland, who later became the Bishop of Western Kansas.  He phoned him in 1996 and it was a call to St. Michael’s, Hays (St. Elizabeth, Russell, and St. Andrew’s, rural Hays.  After 7 years as rector, Canon Jones retired in 2002 at age 62.  Canon Jones was made a Canon of the Cathedral and served as supply priest to several mission congregations (St. John’s – Great Bend, Holy Apostles – Ellsworth, Epiphany – Concordia, St. Anne’s – McPherson, St. Paul’s – Goodland, Trinity Church – Norton).  In 2006 Bishop Adams appointed him as Provost at Christ Cathedral during their search process for the next dean. Six months later Canon Jones was elected as Dean and again 2010. Canon Jones continues to serve as priest-in-charge at Trinity Church, Norton together with Fr. Dennis Gilhousen a couple times per month.  He married his wife, Susan in 1990. She has been a continuing loving support for 29 years. Canon Jones has two grown children, daughter Sarah and two grandchildren, Adam and Meghan of Colorado Springs, Co. and a son Mark of Ft. Worth, Texas. 

Bishop Cowell appointed Canon Jones as Canon to the Ordinary after his consecration in December of 2018. Canon Jones has also served in The Diocese of Western Kansas on The Commission on Ministry, The Search Committee, The Standing Committee, and Diocesan Council.

 Canon Jones says, " I have served in 5 dioceses, under 15 bishops, and 24 congregations; and still going strong (well not quite as strong!) At age 80, if given the chance – I would do it all over again.  I have been truly blessed by loving and forgiving people throughout my life"





 The Reverend Canon Ashley Null - Theologian to the Diocese of Western Kansas
 The Rev. Canon Ashley Null is canonically resident in the Diocese of Western Kansas and serves as Bishop                Milliken's theological advisor but spends the majority of his time abroad. Canon Null is the world recognized Canon Null currently holds research post funded by the German Research Council at Humboldt University of Berlin and is a visiting fellow at the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University and St. John’s College, Durham University. His project is editing the private theological notebooks of Thomas Cranmer, the author of the independent Church of England’s founding formularies, for Oxford University Press. This is a five-volume project. He is the first Canon of the new pro-cathedral of St. Mark's in Alexandria, Egypt.
Toni Cottrell - Diocesan Administrator
Toni was born in Castro Valley, California and moved to Ogden, Utah where she was confirmed into the Episcopal   Church at the Church of the Good Shepherd at the age of 10. After high school, Toni moved to Arizona where she   attended Arizona Tech and received a degree in Broadcasting and Communications. During her time in Arizona, she took a job with Ramada Inn and was eventually transferred to Taos, New Mexico. In New Mexico she met her husband, Larry. Toni gave birth to her first child, a girl, in New Mexico. The three moved to Duncan, Oklahoma and their second child, a son, was born in 1991. The Cottrell family moved to Hutchinson, Kansas in 1994 and made Grace Episcopal Church their parish home. After they moved to Hutchinson Toni secured a job with Don Scott Accounting and then, three years later, took a job at Dudley Construction as their bookkeeper. Toni was with Dudley Construction until 2011 when she became an employee of the Diocese of Western Kansas. Toni's husband Larry is a real estate appraiser and a licensed broker. Toni's daughter, Amber, is a graduate of the University of Kansas and currently works for State Farm Insurance. She is married and she and her husband reside in Fort Collins Colorado.  Her son, Weston, is a graduate of Wichita State University. He is married to his wife, Megan, and have two boys, Calvin, Jackson and daughter, Hayley i Dallas -Fort Worth area in Texas. Toni and her husband together have 5 children, 10 grandchildren and a great grandson. She enjoys gardening, golf, photography, and spending time with her beautiful family. 
Christine Higdon - Administrative Assistant
Chris was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kansas. At the age of 13 Chris was Baptized at First Baptist Church in Hutchinson. Following graduation from Hutchinson High School Chris attended Hutchinson Junior College and Salt City Business College. Chris married Dave Higdon in 1970. Dave worked 34 years for the Hutchinson Police Department, retiring as the Assistant Police Chief holding the rank of Captain. Together they have a son Shawn, who is the Vice President of Retail Operations for a major international clothing and shoe company in California. He and his wife, Maureen reside in Valencia, California. A daughter, Jamie Schartz who operates a local daycare, she and her husband John reside in Hutchinson. From these unions Chris has 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Chris worked as an assistant in the general dental field and then went to work for J. Konrad Rock, DDS as his surgical assistant for many years. Chris worked for Health-E-Quip as a customer service supervisor and for Hospice and Homecare as a bereavement counselor. She then used her secretarial skills to go to work as the membership secretary for First Baptist Church here in Hutchinson. Chris was the Student Services Secretary for USD 308 Vo-Tech where she eventually retired. Chris missed her opportunities to interact with the community, so she began volunteering with RSVP. She enjoys helping people sign up for their part D, RX Medicare plans, helping people during Income tax time and at the Chamber of Commerce. Chris enjoys playing with her little Bichon, Sophie. Chris was on the Board of Directors for Eastside Cemetery for many years and also enjoyed singing with Sweet Adeline’s. Dave and Chris began attending Grace Episcopal Church in 2020, however due to the unexpected Covid crisis much of the first 18 months was online. Once restrictions were lifted, they attended confirmation classes and were confirmed on June 5, 2022, making Grace Episcopal our parish home. Chris enjoys reading, cooking and family activities especially those with her grandchildren and her great grandchildren.
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