The Election Committee meeting on Saturday, April 10, 2021 began with Prayer 57 from the Book of Common Prayer. That prayer, labeled “For Guidance,” is resonant even now, and we are hopeful that we are on to the “continued” part of asking that all our works be “begun, continued, and ended in thee.” Our works have continued such that a great deal of this update was not discussed at our last meeting but is of current import.
By the time you read this a few Deaneries will have held in-person Listening Sessions but all should still have at least online Zoom sessions in which you can participate, and some in person sessions will still be ahead on the calendar. This newsletter will have information elsewhere on that scheduling, including how to sign yourself up and how to sign up someone else who might not be able to navigate the online sign-up form. These sessions are important, for the Election Committee is committed to hearing from as broad a swath of the Diocese as possible, including you, on what you prioritize in a new bishop.
One way in which many of you have already participated in this process is through the completion of the Diocesan Survey, which closed on March 31st and which will form a large part of the Diocesan Profile which will inform potential candidates about our Diocese. The participation rate was incredible and much higher than expected by the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield (although we on the Election Committee were confident in your interest). Thank you for achieving a survey response rate of 58% of the average Sunday attendance in the Diocese.
Following the survey closure the Diocesan website opened a comment box allowing for additional written feedback on the survey and your priorities for the 12th Bishop of Springfield. That comment box received around 60 comments, the entirety of which have, along with the survey responses and results compilation prepared by UIS, been sent on to the Standing Committee.
Going forward, when you receive another update in the first week of June, the Diocesan Profile, Guidelines, and Nomination Packages will be posted and distributed. If you and another are thinking about nominating someone this is probably the time to begin praying and discussing such options. The following is required for each potential candidate by the June 30th deadline:
- Nomination forms to be submitted by both (clergy and laity – 1 of each) nominators.
- Completed Office for Transition Ministry (OTM) portfolio, 2-page maximum resume, photograph with a headshot, lay and clerical references, consent to background/reference checks, and other items.
Thus it is that although our progress has seemed slow, we are moving steadily toward the end goal with the prayer that this work will be “ended in thee” “to glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.” -BCP page 832, #57
Mtr Sherry Black
Chair, Election Committee
Co-Chair, Election Committee