Self-nomination in Eau Claire

The sixth bishop of Eau Claire, Wis., will lead the flock of Christ half time, may hold another part-time job — and will want this work enough to offer a voluntary “Here am I.”

“This search process will run exclusively by application,” the diocese says on a Bishop Search and Transition website. “There will be no nomination process and no petition process.”

Eau Claire has set a May 31 deadline for self-nomination. “In the event that an insufficient number of acceptable candidates apply, the application process may be extended,” the diocesan announcement said.

The diocese has created a 14-member discernment committee to interview nominees and decide which ones will visit the diocese. Eau Claire has been without a residential bishop since the Rt. Rev. Keith B. Whitmore became an assisting bishop in the Diocese of Atlanta in 2008.

The Rt. Rev. Edward M. Leidel, Jr., retired Bishop of Eastern Michigan, has been Eau Claire’s provisional bishop since 2010.

Eau Claire and the neighboring Diocese of Fond du Lac discussed a junction plan in 2011, and both dioceses voted on it. The Rt. Rev. Russell E. Jacobus, Bishop of Fond du Lac, withheld his consent after the standing committee determined that the proposal had failed by two votes in the lay order of his diocese.

Eau Claire’s diocesan profile said that Bishop Leidel and the Rev. Kenneth Howard, author of Paradoxy: Creating Community Beyond Us and Them, have articulated eight theological principles, including “We believe that the law of love supersedes the love of law,” “We believe that loving relationships and radical hospitality need to be the basis for rebuilding our communal structure,” and “We seek to be inclusive and interdependent in our ecumenical and interfaith relationships.”

Image: Christ Church Cathedral, Eau Claire. Wikimedia Commons.

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