Everywhere I go people ask me what I will do when I retire as Assisting Bishop at the end of June. I guess they know me well enough to know that a rocking chair is not in my offing. Nancy and I will be staying in Baltimore and will hopefully get to see family in MA more frequently. I will not be an Assisting Bishop here or in any other Diocese, but I do hope to continue to go to House of Bishops meetings twice a year (I have always found them stimulating and enjoy the sense of community). I plan to write, something I have put off for years, to occasionally preach or lead quiet days, and I will be offering spiritual direction to clergy and laity.

I was formally trained in spiritual direction and did my Doctor of Ministry studies with “group spiritual direction” being my Project/Thesis.  After becoming Bishop in 1995, I ceased being a spiritual director; there would be a conflict of appropriate boundaries for a bishop employed by a diocese to offer spiritual direction to either clergy or laity of that diocese. Since I will have no official duties in our diocese, I can offer something I greatly value (I am in monthly spiritual direction myself and have been for years). For those who may not be familiar with spiritual direction, it is an opportunity with another person to listen to where the Holy Spirit is moving in their life, to have a sounding board who may be able to help a person see new opportunities or old practices which have outlived their usefulness. The director doesn’t actually direct; the Holy Spirit directs and the director listens intently with the directee for the Spirit’s guidance. 

I will be offering spiritual direction from my home in Locust Point, Baltimore or on zoom. There is a reasonable fee for spiritual direction, but I am flexible about the amount. As with counseling, it’s important for the person to pay something for the service; it assures they will work harder and keep appointments. It the greatest of privileges to share another’s spiritual journey—it is truly holy ground. After June you may contact me at rwihloff@gmail.com.

Finally, I want to reiterate what a wonderful privilege it has been to serve as a Bishop for 28 years, and particularly a Bishop in Maryland for the majority of these!  I have loved working with Bishop Sutton and our Diocesan staff, and I continue to love them and so many of you!  This Diocese is our extended family. Although neither Nancy nor I were brought up in Maryland, we have thanks to YOU become Marylanders and have fallen in love with our state because of YOU. I will always cherish our relationships and hope to see you from time to time. God bless you all!


Farewell Celebration for the Right Rev. Robert and Mrs. Nancy Ihloff

Bid farewell to our assisting bishop and celebrate the ministry of the Right Rev. Robert and Mrs. Nancy Ihloff.

June 14, 5:00-8:00 PM, Diocesan Center in Baltimore