September 20, 2018
Beloved in Christ,
Endings and beginnings are very important in the life of a bishop, as he ordains and installs new clergy, says good-bye to clergy leaving their positions, and helps a church or mission through the next phase of their life in Christ. We have come to the end of our start as a missionary diocese in New England, and I am nearing the end of my time as your founding bishop. There is a new chapter ahead as we begin a new life together under the second bishop of the Anglican Diocese in New England. At our Standing Committee in June 2107, I made my retirement official after consulting with the Canons of the ADNE, Archbishop Foley Beach of the ACNA, and former Archbishop Robert Duncan. We confirmed that I would call for the election of our next bishop knowing that the process would take 18 months, as our election would end by December 2018, followed by our new bishop’s confirmation by the College of Bishops in January 2019, and his consecration and seating sometime in Spring 2019.
Our work is now well under way in this process of ending and beginning. Our congregations and clergy have received a copy of the Standing Committee’s letter regarding this announcement, a set of Frequently Asked Questions, and information on changes to the ADNE Canons on our episcopal election process. These documents can be found online on our Resources page, along with a general calendar outlining important dates in the process over the next year.
All our congregations will be working together to find the names of people we believe will make the best candidates for the Committee on Nominations for Bishop (CNB). This group of people: three clergy plus me, your Bishop (Ex-officio), and four laity will lead us in writing the ADNE and Bishop Profiles, outlining who we are and the kind of person we want as our next bishop. All this work will be approved by the Standing Committee. Then the CNB members will vet all the names received and prayerfully, in consultation with the Standing Committee, get down to a final list of names by June 15, 2018, to be submitted for Synod 2018.
As you can see, finding the right people for The Committee on Nominations for Bishop is one of the most important votes we take, outside of voting for the election of the next bishop. Therefore, who are some of the best men and women among our clergy and laity that would serve well as part of this committee? You will need to get their names to your vestry, who will submit the nominations to Standing Committee ASAP. The CNB members will then be elected this coming November at our Synod.
Nominees to this Committee should represent a wide number of perspectives in the ADNE, with male and female members, members of parishes and mission-size churches, and members from every region of New England. These people need to work well together and give time and energy to this important task at a monthly meeting and by sharing online assignments. They need to be people of prayer who understand the issues of the ADNE as a growing missionary diocese. Finally, they need to have a nomination application signed by both themselves and the vestry of their parish and sent to the Standing Committee by October 15, so that we can get the list out of the final CNB nominees to our Synod delegates by the 19th.
This is a very exciting time for all of us to learn in a fresh new way what it means to be Anglican. The delegates each parish and mission will elect next year for Synod 2018 will be the ones voting for our next bishop. Those attending next year’s annual meetings for each congregation should keep this in mind as they elect their delegates.
I would like to thank you all for your continued prayers on behalf of our clergy, lay leaders, and me. I would ask you now for additional prayers on behalf of the next bishop whom God has in mind and whom we need to discern.
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Bill Murdoch
Anglican Diocese in New England