Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oregon Bishop Search: Discernment Begins...

By The Rev. Sara Fischer and the Rev. David Sweeney,

Search Committee Communications Sub-Committee

The Bishop Search Committee met on April 24 at St. Paul in Salem. It was clear to all of us that the work of discernment is truly underway. The committee is now receiving application materials from priests from around the country—men and women engaged in their own process of discerning whether or not God might be calling them as the tenth Bishop of Oregon.

Our agenda included the following:

  • An update of our applicant list. This list changes daily, as individuals submit application materials. The application deadline is May 15,2009.
  • A report from the education sub-committee on its work in developing materials to help Oregonians of all ages understand the office of Bishop. Look for an insert in the summer issue of The Oregon Episcopal Church News.
  • Discussion of our discernment process as we review application materials. A recurring theme in committee discussions has been the need to treat each application on its own merits, according to criteria we’ve established, and the need to bring every applicant to prayer as we review his or her materials.

What’s next? The Search Committee will gather in the third week of May to review all application materials, using a carefully-developed screening process which we hope will assist us in identifying eight applicants as semi-finalists. Those semi-finalists will be invited to participate in in-depth interviews in June.

Questions? More information about our search process is available on the Bishop Search website, www.diocese-oregon.org/bishopsearch/bishopsearch.htm, and those with questions or concerns are also encouraged to contact Search Committee Co-Chairs Mary Cramer (m.m.cramer@comcast.net) or The Rev. Paul Barthelemy (vicah@nehalemtel.net).

An important note about nomenclature: The Search Committee strives not to use the term “Candidate.” In our present American culture, the term candidate implies a process wherein people are running “against” one another for political office. Hence in our meetings we refer to those who enter into the search process as applicants. After our first round of screening, in June, we will interview eight semi-finalists. The individuals whose names the Search Committee submits to the Standing Committee for approval are referred to as nominees.


Deirdre Steinberg, Communications Director

Episcopal Diocese of Oregon

11800 SW Military Lane, Portland, Oregon 97219

Direct: 971-204-4108, Mobile: 503-890-1542


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