The Episcopal Church in Vermont has posted an online profile in its search for an 11th bishop. The diocese will receive names until Nov. 16.
In its “Bishop We Seek” section, the diocese’s Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee mentions that it considered alternatives to the traditional model of a bishop:
We recognize that our next bishop needs to have an innovative spirit, out-of-the-box energy and, as one person so aptly termed it, a sense of holy scrappiness.
Ultimately, assimilating all we heard in our listening sessions, we took a leap of faith to continue with the model of a full-time settled bishop in the hopes that s/he would help us continue to discern and explore how God is speaking to us in the changes we anticipate. We don’t know what the finances will continue to look like down the road and what other creative structure of episcopacy might reveal itself in the future, but we know we are not done yet discerning what God is up to for The Episcopal Church in Vermont. It will take more time.
The committee then offers these hopes for the new bishop:
- We seek a collaborative leader who can be inspirational and empower others;
- One who is an experienced practitioner and advocate of mutual ministry, partnering alongside clergy and lay leadership.
- One who is comfortable with a decision-making structure that is authoritative but collaborative and collegial where appropriate.
- One who is skilled with being an active listener, curious and decisive, who can see the benefits of process but not at the expense of timely response to a critical need.
- One who will know that we are all in the work of living out what it means to be God’s people in Vermont and in the world, and who will not try to do it alone—one who will delegate and share leadership.
- We envision a model of leadership in our bishop that will continue to enhance and invigorate an understanding of how individuals and communities live out their baptismal promises.
- We seek a bishop who will partner with Episcopalians in Vermont to recognize, affirm, and raise up mutual ministry models in our congregations and in our larger diocesan life, as all ministry springs from the common call of our baptism.
- One who will travel the state in order to visit with our parishes to learn about their work and support the importance of that work within their communities and/or to encourage and challenge them to discern and address other community needs.
- We seek a bishop who will build upon the work that has gone before but will look for new ways in which the Spirit is calling us.
- One who will listen with and to us. Walk with us. Laugh with us.