Many Thanks from the Nominating Committee!
The Rev. Michael Carney
The Nominating Committee is grateful for everyone who participated in the information- gathering stage of the search for our next bishop. To those who completed the survey, took part in a listening group or joined the afternoon session of our convention, a big THANK YOU! We’ve taken careful note of all that you said and are working now to incorporate that into the diocesan profile, which will be published in July.
If you were not able to join us on the afternoon of the diocesan convention on April 24, you can view a video of our presentation here: https://youtu.be/beJr_TOuWuY. In it I described the progress we’ve made under the healthy leadership of beloved Bishop Scott B. Hayashi. The survey demonstrated that during his tenure we’ve moved from a place of reinvention and recovery into a time of transformation, an impressive period of institutional growth. Among our evident strengths are advocacy for social justice, inclusion of LGBTQ members and leaders, the healing of relationships (especially among the clergy) and recent steps to address racial justice.
As we look ahead, it’s clear that some challenges lie ahead of us. These include staying connected across our vast land area, clarifying the mission of the diocese, taking better care of our diocesan staff members and drawing young people into the Jesus Movement. Looming over all of these is the biggest challenge of all: what we’ll be leaving for the next generations of Utah Episcopalians. Our membership was already declining and aging before the pandemic, which has disrupted everything we thought we knew about the church. Along with our continuing recovery from alcoholic patterns of leadership in the past, this makes it urgent for us to deepen our spiritual capacity and unleash our passion for following Jesus in the twenty-first century.
With those insights in mind, it’s clear to the Nominating Committee that our next bishop will be a person who’s passionate about that journey and skillful in helping us along the way. In upcoming articles in this newsletter, we’ll be reviewing in more detail our learnings from the listening groups and describing what the diocesan profile will contain. Thank you again to everyone who’s supported us in this work and who joins us in watching for the ways the Spirit will be at work among us in the coming months.
Rev. Michael Carney, chair