To all God’s beloved in the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
– (paraphrased from Paul’s Letter to the Romans).
As always, we continue to thank you so much for your continued prayers as our Diocese fulfills God’s will and purpose in the selection of the 12th Bishop of Springfield. Your prayers continue to strengthen us as we fulfill our task to discern His purpose in the installation of our next Bishop. At this writing, we are moving along the Standing Committee approved timeline for the selection and consecration of our 12th Bishop. The approved timeline is located on the Diocese of Springfield website. The timeline is also available on Diocesan social media sites.
Hopefully, you took advantage of the opportunity to complete a Diocesan survey at the end of March. The Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield is currently tabulating the survey results. The Election Committee contracted with the Institute to ensure the survey format and results tabulation were statistically sound. The input gathered through Diocesan surveys will be analyzed and a brief summary will be shared at Deanery Listening meetings in late April and early May as time allows. The Election Committee is finalizing the format for Deanery Listening meetings in both live and Zoom formats. Again, the goal is that all members of the Springfield Diocese can provide their input into the desired qualities of our next Bishop. Once a comprehensive picture forms, that information will be used to help develop the Diocesan profile (please refer to the timeline for approved dates). The Profile Sub-Committee completed a draft of the history section of the Diocesan Profile and is now working on developing the current ministry compilation and statistical overview. They are waiting on survey and area listening session results to complete the Diocesan Profile.
The next Election Committee meeting will occur on April 10th where we will continue planning critical steps in the bishop search process. These include:
- Making the Diocesan Profile available to all potential candidates based on all input through our listening phase (listening phase still ongoing).
- After the Nomination period closes, and background and reference checks are completed, Nominee information will be available to the Diocesan community well in advance of the Nominating Synod. The Nominating Synod will then prayerfully discern and select from the initial slate of candidates and present the final candidates who will move forward in the process.
- Conducting “walk-abouts” throughout the Diocese with the final candidates (again, how this will be done is still uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we assure you that everyone will have the opportunity to engage with and provide input about who they discern should be our 12th Bishop).
- The Electing Synod will select the Diocese of Springfield’s 12th Bishop for consecration.
Finally, to ensure that everyone has access to all that is happening during the discernment and selection of our 12th Bishop, we encourage you to read the Diocesan email newsletter (emailed by the Diocese). Additionally, you can stay up to date through the Diocesan website; Facebook; Twitter ; and, Instagram.
We truly value your prayerful input. Please let us know if you are receiving exactly the information you need or whether the information provided is too much or too little.
As always, thank you so much for entrusting the selection process to us on the Election Committee, and to the Nominating Synod, Electing Synod, and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield as well. Please continue to pray for us!
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit
– Romans 15:13.
Mtr Sherry Black
Chair, Election Committee
Co-Chair, Election Committee
Mtr Beth Maynard
President, Standing Committee