Adapted from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Public Affairs
The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop is continuing its work to prepare the Episcopal Church for the election of the 27th Presiding Bishop at General Convention in 2015.
Between now and August 1, the committee will publish three short educational essays.
This first essay describes the basic timeline and steps for the nominating and election process. (The first essay follows.) The second essay will outline the current roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Presiding Bishop. The third essay will discuss how the office of Presiding Bishop has changed and evolved from being the senior bishop by consecration who presides over meetings of the House of Bishops to the complex multifaceted position it is today.
It is the hope of the committee that all members of General Convention and all Episcopalians will take the time to read these brief essays to learn the importance of what we will do next summer at General Convention. Should you have any questions or comments about these essays or the work of the committee please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee is composed of a lay member, a priest or deacon, and a bishop from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church elected by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops respectively, plus two youth representatives, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. The members serve a three-year term that concludes with the close of 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City.
Election of the Presiding Bishop in 2015: Essay #1
Over the course of the next weeks of the summer the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop will share three short educational pieces with the Church. This first essay describes the basic time-line and steps of the nominating and election process. The second essay will outline the current roles, functions, and responsibilities of the Presiding Bishop. The third essay will discuss how the role of the office has changed and evolved from being the senior bishop by consecration presiding over meetings of the House of Bishops to the complex multifaceted position it is today.
1. The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop
At the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church, the House of Deputies elected one clerical and one lay member from each Province as a member of the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (committee). The House of Bishops also elected one bishop from each Province as a member of the Committee. The committee includes two youth representatives, ages 16-21, appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. All of these members serve a three-year term that concludes with the close of the 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).
Since November 2012 the committee has been meeting as a whole, and in sub-groups to prepare for the selection of nominees for Presiding Bishop. In 2013 the committee crafted and circulated a church wide survey which invited broad-based feedback on the desired qualities and gifts of the next Presiding Bishop. The committee received more than 5,200 responses and the data collected offers the committee an overview and understanding of the wishes of the Church which the committee will utilize as it prepares a Profile and Call for Candidates. The committee has also issued further updates to the Church on its timeline.
2. Review of the Nomination and Election Processes
The Nomination Process
- The Profile and Call for Candidates for Presiding Bishop will be issued around August 1. At that time the committee will provide specific information for those wishing to submit names of Bishops for consideration.
- The Committee will receive names of candidates from October 1 through October 31.
- In the months following the identification of candidates, the committee will do the work of discerning which candidates to nominate for Presiding Bishop.
- The committee will announce its nominees in early May 2015.
- For two weeks after the May announcement of the committee’s nominees, any deputy to the 78th General Convention or bishop may indicate their intent to nominate other bishops from the floor at the 2015 General Convention in accordance with a process that the committee will announce. In the spring of 2015 the committee will provide further information on the process by which bishops and deputies can nominate additional bishops.
- The identity of the additional nominees will be made available to the Church in early June 2015.
The Election Process
- On the day before the first legislative day of General Convention, the committee will present both its nominees and those of other bishops and deputies to a joint meeting of the House of Deputies and House of Bishops. At that meeting the committee will facilitate conversation and questions and answers with the nominees.
- Early in General Convention there will be a Joint Session of both Houses at which the names of the nominees of the committee and any others by bishops or deputies will be officially entered into nomination.
- On the day following that Joint Session, the House of Bishops will elect one of the nominated bishops to be Presiding Bishop by a vote of a majority of all bishops, excluding retired bishops not present.
- After election by the House of Bishops, a report of the result of the election, including the number of votes cast for each nominee on each ballot, will be made to the House of Deputies. The deputies will then vote to confirm or not to confirm the bishops’ choice of Presiding Bishop.
- The term of office of the Presiding Bishop will be nine years, beginning on November 1, 2015.