Election Committee Special Update for May 18

The Election Committee and the Laity, Priests, and Deacons have been engaged and busy during the Listening Phase of the Election process for the 12th Bishop of Springfield.  The Listening Phase ended on Sunday May 16, 2021.  The Election Committee wanted the faithful of the Diocese of Springfield to have multiple ways to offer insights, ideas, and opinions into the development of the Profile.

From March 16 to March 31 the faithful of the Diocese had the opportunity to complete a survey to help understand the characteristics they felt were most important in a new Bishop of Springfield.  Information gleaned from the survey will help tell the story of the Diocese of Springfield to potential nominees and the Delegates to the nominating and election Synods through our Diocesan Profile.  The survey was developed in conjunction with the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois – Springfield (UIS).  There were seven hundred seventy-seven (777) total respondents which is a 58% response rate based on the 2019 Average Sunday Attendance (ASA).  This was a much higher than anticipated return rate!!

Next, the people of the Diocese had the opportunity from April 1 to April 15 to offer any anonymous comments they wanted.  Just over 100 people shared their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about the future of the Diocese.

Finally, from May 1 to May 16, nine Listening Sessions were held.  These were a combination of Zoom and in-person gatherings.  There were seven sessions for the Laity (four in-person and three Zoom) and two Zoom Listening Sessions for the Priests and Deacons.  A total of ninety-four (94) people took part.

We thank all who took part in the Listening Phase.  A great deal of valuable data and information was gathered that will be included in the Profile.  Over the next several weeks the Election Committee will finalize the Profile and Nomination Process for Standing Committee review and approval.  The goal is to release the profile and open nominations the first week of June.  Nominations will close June 30, 2021.

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that the Standing Committee has accepted the resignation of Mother Sherry Black as the Chair of the Election Committee effective June 1, 2021. She is trying to discern a call to be a nominee for bishop.  Mother Sherry has served as Chair of the Election Committee since April 2020.  Under her leadership much was accomplished, and she leaves the Election Committee with a robust and workable Election Process about to launch.

With Mother Sherry’s resignation the Standing Committee has asked Rod Matthews, the current co-Chair of the Election Committee to become the Chair going forward.  Rod has broad experiences in his local church (Christ the King – Normal) and at the Diocesan level.  He has collaborated closely with Mother Sherry as co-chair of the Election Committee since April of last year.

You can follow the progress of the Election Process at the Diocese’s Website at the Bishop’s Election tab.

In Christ,

The Election Committee