Over the past several months the Committee on Nominations for Bishop has been giving much time and prayerful discernment to the task of developing a slate of candidates to be presented to the diocese. From that slate of candidates one person will be elected at November’s Synod as the next Bishop of the Anglican Diocese in New England.
The Committee’s work began immediately following Synod 2017 when six members—three men and three women—were elected to serve on the Committee. Canon Susan Skillen was appointed by the Standing Committee to serve as Chair. Bishop Bill serves as an ex officio member, offering help to the Committee in developing the process and schedule of its work. Following Synod, the Committee immediately got to work producing two important documents for the bishop search process: the Profile of the ADNE and the Profile of the Bishop of the ADNE. Those two documents were completed before Christmas and they serve as resources for Nominees as well as for the Committee in discerning the candidates that best fit the needs of our diocese.
In January ADNE Vestries and Mission Governing Boards were invited to begin submitting names of Suggested Nominees for Bishop. By the end of February the Committee had received eleven names. Each of these men were asked to submit an Episcopal Letter of Acceptance as a nominee, a spiritual autobiography and a resume. The Committee received those documents from ten of the Suggested Nominees. After reading the spiritual autobiographies and resumes submitted, and through prayerful discussion, the Committee narrowed the number of those moving forward in the process to seven.
Currently the Committee is conducting initial interviews with these seven Nominees. Each of the Nominees will also be submitting answers to a questionnaire that are due later in March. Based on the initial interviews and the answers received from the questionnaire, the Committee anticipates further narrowing of the number of Nominees. Second interviews will be held in late April and early May as well as contacting the Nominee’s references. Background checks will also be conducted.
At the end of May the Committee with gather for a discernment day for prayer and listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and confirmation to decide on a final slate of Candidates for Bishop. The Candidates names will then be presented to the Standing Committee for their approval.
The Committee has already met together over 20 times (3 face to face, and 17 zoom conference calls) and we anticipate another 10 meetings before the end of May. The prayerfulness, diligence and commitment on the part of each of the members has made the work flow beautifully and smoothly. The Committee has also been blessed by seeing the way the Holy Spirit moves through the particular gifting of its members as we offer ourselves to the work of discernment and given tasks at hand. We have also felt unity in the Spirit as we discern towards final decisions in producing a slate of Candidates. The Lord has blessed our diocese with a number of very fine men who are offering themselves for consideration. We are grateful for their entering this process of mutual discernment with us as we move towards electing a new Bishop.
~ The Rev. Canon Dr. Susan Skillen
Committee on Nominations for Bishop, Chair