“Michelle knows and loves the parishes in the diocese,” Bishop Cole said. “Along with knowledge and love, she brings heart and head to the work of being Church in the 21st century. I know her to be both a team player and a proactive leader. As a diocese, we are moving into a new season where our focus will be on Reconciling All Things in Christ. That vision of reconciliation, grounded in the first chapter of Colossians, will guide our work in a time when our world, and our church, is hungry for truth and reconciliation. Michelle is equipped to join in and help lead such work.”
Bolt said, “When Bishop Sanders laid his hands on my head to confirm me as an Episcopalian over 20 years ago, I had no idea where my journey would take me, but I knew that I loved God and I loved East Tennessee.
“Over the years, it became clear that I was called to be a priest working with the people of East Tennessee to identify what God is up to here. In the past few weeks, as I have reflected on the reports from our Church’s General Convention alongside the news of the day, it is clear that the world hungers to know and feel God’s reconciling, healing presence, and as the Episcopal Church in East Tennessee, we are poised to uncover and share this Good News as it blossoms throughout our region.”
She said, “Just about one year ago, we gathered in convention to elect a bishop, and I have been delighted to see the Holy Spirit at work among us since that day in Bishop Cole’s daily, faithful relationship-building. I am excited to work as a part of this team, confronting the future’s challenges with clear eyes and hopeful hearts.”
Bolt graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Arts College Scholars degree before going on to Harvard Divinity School and Seabury-Western Theological Seminary for her masters degrees, M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School and M.Div. from Seabury Western Theological Seminary. After serving churches in Illinois and California, she returned to East Tennessee to serve as chaplain at Tyson House Episcopal/Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and later priest associate at St. John’s Cathedral. Her passion is “for connecting individuals and families to the deep spiritual rhythms and practices of our tradition in a way that is both authentic and fresh.” She lives with her husband Patrick and four sons in Knoxville.
We hope you will join us in a warm welcome to the Rev. Canon Bolt when she joins the bishop’s staff in September!