What is a Bishop?
Check out this article from Nominating Committee member, Mary McEntire.
How is the Coronavirus pandemic impacting the Bishop Search Process?
The Covid delay has lingered much longer than we expected at the beginning of the process. The Standing Committee (who is canonically charged with overseeing this process) has been working with the Search/Nominating Committee to adjust to these challenges and has graciously allowed the 60-90 day extension to the timeline (announced last April 23) to continue. Importantly, Bishop Hayashi has also generously agreed to postpone his retirement until the consecration of our 12 th Bishop of Utah on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Now, with the beginning of the vaccination process, we are ready to resume the Bishop Search Process (although still remotely, in the interest of safety).
As the Search Process Resumes, what comes next?
A Survey to gather input from members of the diocese will be offered electronically (with paper copies available for those without such access) from Sunday, February 28 through Wednesday, March 17. Since we have a diverse diocese, this Survey will be available in English, Spanish and Dinka. In the search process, it is important to gather feedback from all members of the diocese (congregants, clergy and staff). The Search/Nominating Committee has chosen Holy Cow Consulting, an experienced survey organization that has supported many Episcopal bishop search processes (including our search for our 11th bishop) to design a Survey of the Diocese of Utah. As we seek our 12th bishop, we need to know who we are and what we seek in our next bishop: this survey is critical (especially since it is read by interested candidates).
What are Focus/Listening Groups:
Following the online survey, it is important to have Focus (also called Listening) Groups to give in-person feedback. This desire to receive widespread feedback is part of the Standing Committee’s emphasis on encouraging complete transparency in our Bishop Search Process. Just as the online survey will be offered to all members, these Focus/Listening Groups will be offered to the laity, all orders of clergy (active and retired) and staff. They should begin in mid-April and continue for several weeks, facilitated by members of the Search/Nominating Committee. There will be multiple offerings so that group size is small. During the Diocesan Convention on Saturday, April 24, breakout groups will also take place to generate feedback. The Diocesan Survey and Focus/Listening groups will provide important data for our Diocese Profile, which will be published online.
What is the Diocesan Profile?
Tentatively scheduled to be published (online) in July, this overview of the Diocese of Utah tells applicants who we are and what we seek in our 12th bishop. It will reflect the information gathered from the online survey and the Focus/Listening groups as well as descriptions of our parishes, ministries, finances, etc. When it is released throughout The Episcopal Church, the nomination process begins.
After the publication of the Diocese Profile and opening of nominations, what follows?
Nominations will be open for approximately three weeks after the Diocesan Profile is published online. All members of the Diocese of Utah are encouraged to contact anyone whom they might feel would be qualified to serve as our 12th bishop: with the challenges posed by the coronavirus, it is possible that potential candidates may overlook the opening of nominations to be the 12th bishop of Utah and such a reminder will be helpful. As our professional consultant has reminded us, when applications are received, it is critical to carefully evaluate all candidates. This evaluation process will primarily occur remotely in the late summer and fall.] The Search/Nominating Committee will invite a small group to visit Utah in person[, tentatively scheduled for early January, to help determine a mutual fit.
Submission of slate of 3-5 Finalists to Standing Committee:
In late January 2022, the Search/Nominating Committee will submit a slate of 3-5 candidates to the Standing Committee, all of whom this subcommittee feels would be qualified to be Bishop of Utah. With the submission of this slate to the Standing Committee, the work of the Search/Nominating Committee is over.
When do members of the Diocese of Utah meet these candidates?
The Standing Committee will hand over approved candidates (and any who may have been added through the petition process) to the Transition Committee (headed by Russ Pack), who will arrange a series of regional Meet & Greets to introduce these “finalists” to be the 12th Bishop of Utah to all members of the diocese. The Transition Committee will arrange the details but these meetings are tentatively scheduled to occur in the spring of 2022.
How is our 12th Bishop of Utah selected?
Canonically, this selection is done by an election at a Diocesan Convention (to be elected, a candidate must receive a majority of both the lay and clergy delegates). At this time, the convention is scheduled for April 30-May 1, 2022.
When will our next bishop be consecrated?
The consecration of the 12th bishop of Utah is scheduled to occur on Saturday, September 17, 2022 (by the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Michael Curry). So, while we know that members of the Diocese of Utah have many questions, it is difficult to give definitive answers. May God continue to bless all members of this planet and guide all of us in our search process for the 12th Bishop of Utah. Please continue to visit the Bishop Search website: Utahbishopsearch.org for details.