The Diocese of Newark is accepting nominations in the search for its 11th bishop, and has posted its profile. Interested parties have until Nov. 3 to nominates themselves, but anyone intending to nominate another person must do so by Oct. 20.
The profile acknowledges the central role played in recent decades by the Rt. Rev. John S. Spong, its eighth bishop:
Our most familiar and controversial figure is The Rt. Rev. John Shelby Spong, elected and consecrated in 1976. Bishop Spong became a prolific author and advocate for progressive causes both nationally and within The Episcopal Church. He led our Diocese to champion women’s ordination and later, gay rights, far earlier than most other Episcopal Dioceses. One result of Bishop Spong’s 24-year tenure was an ongoing and transformative dialogue on issues that would later threaten schism within the larger church. Women and gay clergy found this Diocese to be a safe place to explore ministry, which influenced change in other dioceses. All this contributed to Newark’s reputation as a progressive Diocese.
Since then, our two succeeding Bishops have given us years of equally progressive ministry, devoted service and pastoral care. The Rt. Rev. John P. Croneberger emphasized the Baptismal Diaconate. The Rt. Rev. Mark Beckwith brought gifts for efficient administration, including putting our financial house in order, and he has encouraged congregations to be more engaged in their local communities by “Joining God in the Neighborhood.”
The profile says the diocese seeks an 11th bishop who:
- Is creative, imaginative and willing to take risks.
- Possesses an energetic spirit, is prepared to listen and learn from the Diocese, pays attention to our needs, understands our DNA, builds trust, and works aggressively on the core foundation of our Diocesan mission.
- Is prepared to take action with us to begin to develop mission strategies in the varied regions of our Diocese and wisely align financial resources.
- Is able to take the “long view”: Our challenges will not be resolved by quick fixes; our opportunities require a clearly articulated strategy.
- Has a proven record of collaboration and working with a diverse group of people to make things happen.
- Is a reconciler who seeks to resolve conflict in a spirit of compassion.
- Is a leader with passion for social and international justice.
- Exhibits emotional intelligence, transparency, and maturity.
- Will get in the “sandbox” and play. This is a Diocese that enjoys having fun.
Finally, and importantly, we hope our next Bishop will view this as a rich opportunity to build something with us that we cannot yet imagine.
Read more at the Diocese of Newark