The standing committee of the Diocese of Lexington has announced via email that it is ready to seek the diocese’s eighth bishop.

The Rt. Rev. Douglas Hahn, the seventh bishop of the diocese, resigned in March, in an agreement he reached with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Curry had previously placed Hahn on a one-year suspension for failing to disclose an instance of adultery earlier in his vocation.

The Rt. Rev. Bruce Caldwell, former Bishop of Wyoming, is serving as Lexington’s bishop provisional.

Announcing their next step in a letter dated July 26, the six members of the committee write:

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The standing committee of the Diocese of Lexington has announced via email that it is ready to seek the diocese’s eighth bishop.

We trust and hope that this letter finds you doing well during a season of the year when schedules and vacations provide a more relaxed and slower pace. Know that you have been kept in prayer during this time and that the Standing Committee has continued to desire your prayers.

The Standing Committee sensed that a significant amount of time was needed to be spent in prayer, having in-depth discussions and experiencing healing from all the activity surrounding the resignation of our Bishop Diocesan. While continuing to do the entrusted work of the Standing Committee, we have been reflecting on how to faithfully model our canonical responsibility of being a Council of Advice to the Bishop Provisional. Most importantly, we have had continued discussions about our future as a Diocese and have been prayerfully discerning our next steps.

It is time for the Standing Committee to develop a process that will ultimately search for, nominate, and elect someone to serve as the next Bishop of Lexington. We are committed to developing an election process that lasts as long as it takes to find the person that God is calling to serve as Bishop. The first step in this process should help us see where we are and who we are as a Diocese and what we need to be a flourishing Diocese.

To begin our work together, members of the Standing Committee will be meeting personally with all priests, deacons, diocesan staff and selected lay leadership of our congregations. During this time, we would like to hear the concerns, needs, hopes, abilities, and desires of our people. This collection of information will serve as a basis for ultimately strengthening our congregations and ministries to be ever growing and vital centers of mission and ministry. We will need thoughtfulness, honesty, trust, and candor in determining how this relates to the search for the next Bishop. These groups should expect to hear from someone from the Standing Committee within the next 30 days.

Once this important information has been received, the Standing Committee will report it back to the whole Diocese. This should help us to assess who and where we are and can then become the framework for the important work of a nominating committee. We are committed to having a nominating committee formed and an election timetable published by the end of September.

Moving forward, we ask foremost for your prayers that we and all of our Diocese will be open to be led by the Holy Spirit. We ask for your prayers that we will have the strength, courage, and wisdom to follow the Spirit’s guidance, especially in those areas that seem most challenging.

We thank you for the opportunity to share this letter with you. We appreciate your faithfulness and discipleship as fellow Christians and your commitment to the Body of Christ in the Diocese of Lexington and beyond.

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