2007 Clergy Conference
April 21 - Airport
Prayerful Discernment in the Selection of a Bishop
The Morning session
consisted of Julius Rogina’s presentation
THE ART OF CHOOSING WELL
He based the presentation on the Baptismal covenant
from the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (p.304)which is consonant with our
|God is calling the Episcopal
Diocese of Nevada to transform its communities through the vitality
of its worship and living out its baptismal vows.
Julius brought Enneagram personality analysis
into the understanding of how different personality strengths from
members throughout the diocese contribute to “choosing well.” Hence,
the importance for everyone to prayerfully think about the questions
they want to have the candidates answer on the walk-abouts.
session was led by Suzanne Foucault, National consultant to Bishop Search
processes who is working with our Diocese. After introductions, she detailed:
CHANGES SINCE LAST TIME A BISHOP WAS ELECTED - Suzanne
1. Approval by
person being nominated (The “App/Nom” form
requires a confirmation signature from the person being nominated which
reduced the # of Candidates before Search Committees begain making calls.
Process replaced Nominations from the Floor (This was in effect when
Katharine was elected) which allows time for the Oxford Background Checks.
(11 questions related to “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.”)
Committee will establish the process details. Candidates must answer
all the same Essay questions, collect a number of petition sigantures,
file the CDO profile, the Resume and personal references, exactly the
same as Applicants. Suzanne cited some examples of reasons that people
might choose to enter through the Petition Process rather than Application/Nomination,
which usually involve unusual life circumstances. They should be considered
as completely equal to those who become candidates through the Application/Nomination
3. Communication Technology has
had a significant effect. At least half of every application is submitted
electronically, and moving toward 100%. Also the Search Committee's
communication with candidates on status of apps via eMail which is
4. Episcopal Church issues:
Standing Committees consents to election: 2006 Resolution B033 advises
exercise of restraint with regard to the candidate’s “manner
of life”. This in effect until next General Convention in 2009.
9 Round tables that self-sorted at the beginning of the
meeting were each given an afternoon task of providing the Search Committee
with several aspects of the clergy role in the Search Process. Reports
1. WHAT DOES THE CLERGY NEED IN THE NEW BISHOP?
to find a pastoral person
• Assure that we are represented fairly to the candidates
• Be assured that the Committee is being fair-minded in terms
of political and theological viewpoints toward candidates.
• Be assured that the Committee is not making choices for us.
• Have a smooth election process (Transition Committee’s
• That the selection process is moving along, but not so fast
that we miss the role of the Holy Spirit in the proceedings
• Be certain that candidates are aware of the geographic challenge
of the Diocese so that they will be equally available to those in rural
• Transparency in the process
• That the candidates have had healthy relationships with their
staffs and with their personal families.
• That candidates have a deep personal grounding and spiritual
• That the walkabout meetings with candidates are accessible to
2. WHAT DO THE CLERGY FEEL THE LAITY
NEED IN THEIR NEW BISHOP?
• Information: fact sheets, detailing of
the election process, duties of the committees, schedules for the
process and the output of the Committees be available. (The person
reporting confessed that they had not consulted the website recently)
• Contiinuing opportunity for the laity to comment
on the process.
• Description and information on the candidates in prep for the walk-abouts. (There
is no description available now as to what this process is all about.)
WHAT IS THE CLERGY ROLE IN THE SEARCH PROCESS?
the process: That is, insure that all parish members feel a part of
what is happening.
• Keep the congregation informed. Be communicative
• Pass our the information
• Keep prayers for the process in the congregational worship, therefore
insuring that all parish members are participating in the process
• Watch boundries: Don’t undercut the process. (If you or others have
complaints, make them directly to the Search or Transition committees. One method
is using the Search eMail <NvBishopSearch@gmail.com>)
• When we are close to the election, do not use clerical authority to
influence the electors.
• Support not knowing who the candidates are until they are announced.
• Support the need for confidentiality to protect those who are eliminated.
• Clarify the process to one another.
4. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AHEAD IN
• Squash rumors: Unfounded rumors are not
helpful to anyone. (You may ask the Search Committee directly or Bob
Nelson at the diocesan office is the official "rumor control
(702) 737 9190).
• Bring candidates up to speed on the facts to cope with
the vastness in economic and geographic diversity
• Know the background and be able to cope with the vastness in economic
and geographic diversity
• Sensitivity to the divisions between North/South/Rural
• Vastness of our state.
• Bishop needs to be visible to the larger community: Be open and reach
out beyond our Church.
• Bishop needs to balance time
• We need to trust the Committees and their work.
• Keep the profile in mind (It was forgotten in the process last time)
• Care of the nominees during the process. Attention their needs.
• Emphasize spiritual discernment - Keep the Holy Spirit in the process.
• Be sure the Petition candidates are not treated as second class citizens.
Q. It was asked what the Walkabout process is like for the Nominees.
(Last time, they visited one at a time. This time it is to be all together
for a week).
Answer: Suzanne said, from her experience with other
Dioceses, that is a very collegial feeling. They tend to bond to one
another and help one another out. After all, they are not competitors,
but also discerning who is right for this place at this time. They tend
to develop a spiritual life and discipline together during the week.
Q: Are spouses
to be included?
A: Not yet decided.
5. HOW SHOULD CONGREGATIONS AND ELECTORS
(+ Alternates) PREPARE FOR THIS ELECTION OF OUR NEW BISHOP?
• Consistent communication with and among
one another based on direct experience reading presentations and
participating in walk-about discussions
• Assure that Transparency and confidentiality is being communicated
• Include the Process in the prayers, whenever the
congregation meets for worship.
• Congregations and electors/alternates should have had their
role explained during the parish annual meeting
• Facilitate the congregational communication with & feedback
to electors/ alternates as to the basic desires for the new Bishop
• Congregation needs to know the role of a Bishop in the Church
-- local, National and International
• Prayers for everyone.
• Be sure Alternates are as well prepared to
vote as electors, should they need to do so.
• Electors MUST be there all day on Friday during
• Electors are expected to be at the walkabouts -- at LEAST one
of the stops.
• Electors/Alternates’ research should begin immediately
when the names are announced.(Let the Electors/alternates know of
• Electors not bound by what the person in the last pew thinks.
They are not representing a group within the congregation, but voting
One priest commented that he was much more confident in the Process
after this day of discussion.
Another priest reminded the gathering that he wants to see a Bishop
who will personally go into the prisons and support the prison ministry.
7. A REFLECTION ON THE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES OF AMBROSE (Bishop
of Milan, 397) and PHILLIPS BROOKS (Bishop of Massachusetts, 1893). Those qualities
• Ambrose and Brooks were God-centered
and not self-centered, a model for us in the election process.
• Excellent communication skills in preaching, teaching, writing
• Effectively speaking truth to Power. (Ambrose)
• Skillful hymnodist - gets people singing together
• Able to be inclusive of conservative and liberal persons in
both theology and politics.
• Personal warmth and presence
• Sense of the sacred Mystery of life. (Brooks)
• Understanding of Lambeth Quadralateral: Holy Scripture, Historic
Creeds, , Sacraments, and Historic Episcopate
Candi Jones (Search chair),
Pam Radke (Transition chair) and Jon Davidson (Jt. Communication Subcommittee
chair) each responded to the input from clergy with assurances that the
input was heard, and with information on contacting committee members
during the process.
Jon urged those congregations who
have not done so to distribute Profile Website cards to every member
of their congregation because the Profile is a document which celebrates
the mission and ministry of all of us, and communicates the excitement
about the incredible amount of work that we are able to do working together.
The same printed color copies of the Profile Website were distributed
to all clergy present that had previously been sent to all parish offices
in the Diocese.
Jon also suggested that the clergy make a habit to visit the Diocesan
Website at LEAST once a week: Bookmark the WHAT’S NEW page and
check it regularly as the page changes constantly, provides resources
for clergy and parish leaders, and is a direct link to EPISCOPAL
LIFE ONLINE and EpiSCOPE which are our new Episcopal news sources with headlines
which are updated daily.
He also announced that the Diocesan Website
now has a team of 6 people working on keeping it updated, with editorial
leadership from Hallie Murphy, editor of Desert Spirit. He asked
those present to check the current list of parish communication contacts
to be sure the Diocese has correct persons in each parish for Newsletter,
Sunday Bulletin, Website and eMail distribution. (That information can
be sent by those not in attendance to <firstname.lastname@example.org>)
of the Standing Committee present were introduced, and they spoke about
the Search Process.
Contact eMail for Search & Transition committees
The mailbox is checked at least daily, and response is guaranteed within
3 business days.