Follow-up to Search and Nominating Committee

Follow-up to Search and Nominating Committee

This process has changed considerably from the last time our diocese went through such an election.

By the Rev. Mary Ann Hill, President of the Standing Committee

By now, most of you will have seen the announcement about our Search and Nominations Committee for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor. From what I understand, this process has changed considerably from the last time our diocese went through such an election.

When Bishop Ed was elected, this process was less centralized in the Presiding Bishop’s office than it is now. As we go through this process, the Standing Committee is following the guidelines and best practices that we’ve received from The Office of Pastoral Development in the Presiding Bishop’s Office, as well as the advice given to us by our official Search Consultant.

Some might remember that before, there were two representatives from each region and some from specific constituencies. This time around, the overall process has been divided into smaller pieces. The tasks involved vary widely, and the gifts needed to accomplish those tasks are quite different as well.

While we did try to include people that are representative of the diversity of the demographics and churches in our diocese, we were instructed to limit the size of this particular committee to not more than fifteen people, and to focus on skill sets before other considerations. Above all, we were to instruct those chosen to go about their work as “citizens of the diocese,” rather than focusing on individual interests.

The initial phase of this process is the Search and Nominations phase. The tasks involve surveying the members of our diocese, creating a profile, receiving names of nominees, vetting those names, and coming up with a slate. It is helpful to note that after the slate is presented, there is also a process to receive petition candidates, and the work this committee does is screening, not selection.

Once the slate is presented, the Search and Nominations Committee’s work will be complete, and the baton will be handed off to a Transitions Committee. That Committee, and whatever teams it assigns, will be involved with everything from the Walkabouts (i.e. candidates’ visit to the diocese), the Electing Convention, assisting with the transition of the Bishop-elect to the diocese, the Consecration, and farewell activities with Bishop Ed. The Transitions Committee will be constituted at a later time.

As we go through the coming months, please pray for our diocese, for Bishop Ed and Debbie, for all of those who are engaged in the many tasks involved in this process, and especially for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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