William “Chip” Stokes

By Kirk Petersen

New Jersey

The Rt. Rev. William H. “Chip” Stokes, XII Bishop of New Jersey,  announced on September 2 his intention to retire in June 2023, and has called for the election of a successor. Stokes has served the diocese as bishop since 2013, before which he served churches in Florida.

“Prayer, discernment and a recognition of the changing needs and demands of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New Jersey all indicate it is time for me to step aside and allow a new generation to step forward,” Stokes said in his announcement, noting he will be 66 years old at the time of his retirement and will have served for nearly a decade.

A search committee is in formation, and the diocese has established a web page for the transition.

Mark Hollingsworth

Ohio

The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., XI Bishop of Ohio, announced on September 14 his intention to retire “sometime in 2023,” and called for the election of a bishop coadjutor, who would automatically become the XII Bishop of Ohio upon Hollingsworth’s retirement.

“After more than 40 years of ordained ministry and nearly 18 deeply fulfilling and happy years since coming to serve with you in the Diocese of Ohio, it is time to begin a process of episcopal transition,” Hollingsworth told the diocese. An election is anticipated at the diocesan convention in November 2022, and the coadjutor would serve alongside Hollingsworth for an undetermined period.  Hollingsworth has been Bishop of Ohio since 2004.

Springfield

The Diocese of Springfield on September 14 announced a slate of nine nominees to become the XII Bishop of Springfield. In alphabetical order, they are:

Nine candidates is an unusually large slate in a bishop election. “Our diocese uses a uniquely transparent process for electing a bishop,” the election committee said in the announcement. “There is no search committee that assembles a slate; instead, your delegates to our Nominating Synod, will choose the final three candidates from among this group of nominees who completed the application/nomination process and passed the required reference and background checks.”

The slate includes seven men and two women, and three candidates from within the diocese, while the remaining six candidates are from six other dioceses.

The winning candidate will succeed the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, who retired at the end of June 2021 after serving since 2011. Martins is secretary of the board of directors of The Living Church Foundation, Inc., which publishes TLC.

According to the published timeline, the diocese’s annual synod and nominating synod will convene on October 15 and 16, respectively, and will narrow the field to three candidates. Walkabouts will occur in November, and an electing synod will convene on December 11 for the final vote.

Consecration of the new bishop is scheduled for May 21, 2022, at a location to be determined.