The Work Has Begun!


By the Rev. Dr. Pamela Dolan

On Saturday, Dec. 2, the Search Committee met at St. John’s, Roseville for an all-day work retreat. All members were in attendance, as well as our consultant, Judy Stark, and Canon Cookie Clark. Most of us did not know many other people in the room, but we quickly found areas of commonality and connection. Judy Stark has worked with numerous other bishop search processes around the country and assured us that by the time this process is over we will know each other better than we can even imagine right now!

The main priority for the day was gaining a clear understanding of the process of choosing a new bishop. There are many steps involved, all of which need to be guided by prayer and deep, thoughtful listening. Highlights of the day included:

          - Receiving our charge from the Standing Committee and being commissioned
          - Reviewing issues of confidentiality and signing a confidentiality agreement
          - Sharing stories of our spiritual heroes as part of the “getting acquainted” process
          - Focusing our attention on issues of diversity
          - Discussing the various subcommittees needed in order to complete our job
          - Ending the day with a celebration of Holy Eucharist

Since the retreat, we have all been assigned our subcommittees and given a suggested initial to-do list. The committees are: Listening/Survey, Profile Creation, Screening and Interviewing, Education/Communication/Diversity, and Discernment Retreat planning. We are thus entering the first stage of the process, which is gathering information and creating a profile. As Mary Davy puts it with her usual enthusiasm, “The work has begun!”

The Search Committee’s Communications Subcommittee will be regularly updating the Standing Committee and the Diocese at large throughout the whole process. Mary Davy, the Chair of the Committee, is also regularly in touch with Standing Committee.

The Communications Subcommittee is Erika Trez and Pamela Dolan. Erika has offered to be the point person for receiving questions from the Diocesan community; please contact her directly at with your questions. If Erika doesn’t have the answer she will be able to contact the person who does! Please be aware that Bishop Beisner and his staff are not leading this search, so we ask that you refrain from contacting them with questions so they can focus on the good work they continue to do in our Diocese. We on the Search Committee want to do everything we can to make this as transparent a process as possible, so please don’t hesitate to be in touch if there is something you need to know.

Finally, a reminder to everyone voting in an Annual Meeting next month: the people chosen as Diocesan Convention Delegates for the November, 2018 convention will also be the voting delegates for the special Electing Convention on Feb. 9, 2019. This is an important, once-in-a-generation responsibility. Please make sure all candidates know about the second convention they will need to attend if elected.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our work, and you can check back regularly on the Diocesan website as we add more information.

And, of course, we ask that you continue to keep the process and all involved in your prayers.