Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Letter From the Standing Committee


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The Bishop’s announcement that he is calling for the election of a new Diocesan is a magnificent sign of healing and health for our Diocese. We are deeply grateful for Bishop Daniel’s ministry among us over the past two years and the leadership and love and spiritual gifts he has shared with all of us. We are thankful, too, that he will remain with us until God ordains our next Bishop, sometime in 2016.

When a Diocesan Bishop announces that it is time to elect the next Bishop, the Standing Committee has the responsibility of appointing two committees that will direct our common work in calling the person who will be our next Bishop. The first committee is a search committee that takes up the work of listening to the Diocese to discern the kind of Bishop we need for our Diocese, interviewing possible candidates, and putting forth a slate of finalists. The second committee is an electing/transition committee. This committee is responsible for introducing the candidates to the Diocese, organizing forums with the candidates and the people of the Diocese so that we may know them and they may begin to know us, holding the election, transitioning the Bishop and her/his family to the Diocese, and planning the ordination and consecration liturgy and celebration.

The work of calling a new Bishop is not just the work of these committees, but is the work of all members of the Diocese through prayer and participation through the various stages of discernment, call, election and ordination.

Although until this week we did not know when Bishop Daniel would call for an election, the Standing Committee has been preparing for Bishop Daniel’s announcement over the past six months. We have met with Bishop Clay Matthews, Office of Pastoral Development for the Episcopal Church, to learn about the shape and requirements of the search process. We have hired a search consultant, Ms. Lynn Schmissrauter, who is the best consultant in the Church by all accounts. Lynn has significant experience, both as a member of a Bishop search committee as well as guiding many Bishop search committees throughout the Church. We have been on retreat with our consultant and have begun to shape the characteristics of the search and election/transition that we feel will be most effective for our Diocese.

In the coming weeks the Standing Committee will be discussing the size of the committees and the qualities of the persons needed to accomplish the work. Both committees will be representative of the beautiful variety present in our Diocese and everyone on the committees will need to be willing to give a significant amount of their time for this work to be effective.

As we enter this season of Advent, with all its depth of anticipation and hopefulness, we invite you to join us now in prayers of thanksgiving for our Diocese and the expanding mission of Christ’s Church in this place. We invite you, too, to join us in prayer for these next steps and for the call of our next Bishop Diocesan.

As we know more about the shape of the process, so will you.

Grace and Peace to you.




The Rev. W Frank Allen


For the Standing Committee:

Mr. Norman McCausland                               The Rev. Kathy Andonian

The Rev. Kirk Berlenbach                              Ms. Jane Cosby

Ms. Deborah Brown                                       Mr. Paul Yaros

Ms. Pat Smith                                               The Rev. Hillary Raining

The Rev. Deirdre Whitfield 

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