11 Questions for 6 Nominees

In a Nomination Report 2016 edition, The Episcopal News of the Diocese of Los Angeles has published the responses of bishop nominees to 11 questions.

The diocese has six nominated six people to stand for election as Bishop Coadjutor to the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno. The diocesan convention scheduled for Dec. 2-3 in Ontario, California, will elect the bishop coadjutor, who will become bishop when Bruno retires in late 2018.

These are the 11 questions:

  • What is your vision for the Diocese of Los Angeles?
  • What are your primary spiritual resources, and in what ways do they support your ministry?
  • What do you understand to be the primary thrust of the Gospel?
  • What primary principles are central to your leadership style?
  • As chief pastor of the diocese, how would you call upon and strengthen laypersons to engage their gifts for ministry?
  • Similarly, how would you describe the relationship you would hope to have with the clergy of the diocese?
  • How would you seek to involve young people in the life of the Church?
  • In what key ways would you serve and engage the multicultural and socioeconomic diversity of Southern California in raising up lay and ordained leaders across this spectrum?
  • What opportunities do you see for evangelism and bringing seekers into the life of the Episcopal Church?
  • Around what central global and local issues would you seek to provide a prophetic voice as bishop in the public square?
  • How would you interpret and apply the following observation from the late Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara: “The bishop belongs to all”?

These are the nominees’ answer to the question about the primary thrust of the gospel:

The Rev. Paul D. Fromberg — Transformation. All humanity is called to a new mind: to see that God is making peace with us, right now. This message of Jesus is always the voice of his Abba, bringing mercy, love, and forgiveness to all people. The Trinity, a unity of friendship, desires our friendship, but we turn away from God’s friendship to what is unreal. Whenever we turn away, we fall into chaos, fear, and violence. But God never stops pursuing us, lovingly remaking us. The reign of God embraces everyone: right now we can choose to be a part of God’s peaceful revolution, citizens of God’s commonwealth.

The Rev. Rachel Anne Nyback — LOVE. Love expressed by being in relationship; expressed through healing; expressed through teaching the Good News; in ministry that shines light on the Kingdom of God here and now. We are capable of love because God first loved us and God empowers us to love one another. This love is not sentimental, and is often challenging. When grounded in the love that God has for us, we live out the great commandment Jesus gave us: “…love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and … love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Rev. Anna B. Olson — Love. Love casts out fear, triumphs over death. Love insists that we belong to one another, that it is worth the time and the effort to treat one another with care. Love is our only job and our only super- power. Love makes the broken whole, the impossible possible and the ordinary holy. Love is the Way that Jesus calls us to walk, the defining characteristic of the Reign of God that Jesus so wants to show us. Love is the invitation to live as if we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by pouring ourselves out for one another.

The Rev. Canon John H. Taylor — Mark 1:15 comprises the greatest sermon ever. It’s Jesus, of course: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” When I teach Mark to seventh graders at St. John’s, the theme for this verse is urgency. To us, Jesus might say, “Now is the time to act. Kingdom work can be done wherever you are. To grasp it, change your outlook. Trust in this: You are made in love, saved in love, and bathed in love. If you act in love, convinced of the power of Resurrection to keep you safe, the gospel is alive in you.”

The Rt. Rev. Pierre W. Whalon — God so loved the world that God sent us the Christ, so that none perish, and that all people, and indeed the whole creation, can share in life more abundant.

The Rev. Mauricio J. Wilson — The central message of the Gospel is God’s eternal and unconditional love for all things created. Love so sublime that it moved God to become like one of us in the form of the one named Jesus of Nazareth. Through the life, witness, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God opened the doors of salvation to all and the full price of this salvation was paid on the cross. Those who believe in this Good News ought to share it with others not only in word but in actions motivated by and that are a reflection of that love.

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