Saturday, December 13, 2008

Episcopal election methods due for revision: An ENS Report

A change that will impact the whole of the Episcopal Church is under study. The project knowns as the Episcopal Elections and Transitions Project is currently surveying nominees and search participants as part of the study group's latest efforts.

Mary Frances Schjonberg reports for the Episcopal News Service the following:

The way in which the Episcopal Church elects its bishops could change as the result of a survey being conducted now by the Episcopal Elections and Transitions Project.

The project, sponsored by the Episcopal Church's College for Bishops, the Presiding Bishop's Office of Pastoral Development and the CREDO Institute, is attempting "to obtain insights into the existing best practices of episcopal elections and to identify possible new directions for the best-practice models of the future," according to a news release.

The Episcopal Church has revised its recommended method for the election of bishops approximately every ten years. That method takes the form of a manual of best practices to follow during the course of a search and election process which the Presiding Bishop's Office for Pastoral Development offers dioceses. (General Convention is responsible for making constitutional and canonical changes governing election of bishops.)

Bishop Clay Matthews, who heads the Office of Pastoral Development in New York, told ENS December 5 that he or his designee meets with a diocesan standing committee prior to the public announcement of a call for an episcopal election to guide them through the manual and help the diocese create the process and its timetable. His office also offers a search consultant to work with the diocese as the process unfolds.

Read the rest of the article here.

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