September 15, 2020
The Standing Committee, after consulting with Bishop Todd Ousley, Office of Pastoral Development, made some decisions this week about a bishop provisional to begin serving after Bishop Field’s resignation in September 2021.
Bishop Ousley will begin searching for candidates who best meet our criteria and who have the approval of the Presiding Bishop. The Committee will interview candidates in July and August of next year, selecting one of them who will be presented to the diocese. An act of convention will be put forward to approve (or not) the selection (see Title III, Canon 13). Calling a special convention to elect a bishop (diocesan) will probably occur later in the bishop provisional’s time with us.
In response to Bishop Ousley’s questions, we believe that the diocese would benefit most with
a full-time, long-term (greater than 12 months) tenure, but we are principally interested in someone who is a “good fit.” We need our bishop provisional to have the skill and stamina to hold up a mirror for the diocese and to have the leadership ability to help us all take a good and honest look at it. We believe that a woman or a person from a minority group might best be qualified for this, and are especially open to working with such a person.
In discussing a “right fit,” we also identified the need for facilitation of healing, trust-building, and growth; conversations about the viability of the diocese; and “systems work.” Pastoral care, warmth, and accessibility were additional characteristics.
My experience of successful leadership has been that we all need to have the same goals, each of us needs to see every individual as necessary to achieving the goals, and the leader must be someone who is recognized as knowing how to achieve the goals and can keep us on task. Therefore, the participation of every member of the diocese will be vital. Your input at any time is most welcome.
Further announcements will be made when there is more information, but it might be several months until then. This process is entirely transparent, so ask questions of any member of the Committee, and please know that we are committed to doing everything necessary to make our diocese and our next diocesan bishop successful.
We invite you to the daily recitation of these prayers:
For the Diocese
O God, by your grace you have called us in this Diocese to a
goodly fellowship of faith. Bless our Bishop Martin,
and other clergy, and all our people. Grant that your Word
may be truly preached and truly heard, your Sacraments
faithfully administered and faithfully received. By your
Spirit, fashion our lives according to the example of your
Son, and grant that we may show the power of your love to
all among whom we live; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.Book of Common Prayer p817
For the choice of fit persons for the ministry
O God, who didst lead thy holy apostles to ordain ministers
in every place: Grant that thy Church, under the guidance of
the Holy Spirit, may choose suitable persons for the ministry
of Word and Sacrament, and may uphold them in their work
for the extension of thy kingdom; through him who is the
Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, one
God, for ever and ever. Amen.Book of Common Prayer p205
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Jonathan E. Frazier, President