Bishop Search: The Petition Period
The Bishop Nominating Committee (BNC) is hard at work and moving into the final phases of candidate selection. The committee has identified a cadre of semi-finalists, and background checks and reference checks are underway as a prelude to inviting those candidates to attend an October discernment retreat in Temecula. Following that retreat, the final slate of candidates will be submitted to the standing committee. The standing committee will act on the slate, and, presumably, approve that slate for nomination. We expect an announcement identifying the candidates, to be made mid-October. But the nomination process does not necessarily end there.
In past years, the canons of the Episcopal Church provided for nominations from the floor of the electing convention. However, that practice was eliminated several years ago, and replaced with what is called nomination by petition. That means that it is possible for persons other than those submitted by the BNC to become candidates for election. This is how it will work. The petition period opens on October 22. It will close at 5 p.m. on November 16. Anyone may apply by petition, including persons who had originally applied, and were not selected—or other persons who did not originally apply.
Persons applying by petition must submit the same information as was required in the original applications, including a cover letter, three letters of recommendation (including at least one priest and one lay person). They must also provide the names of six nominators (three clergy members and three laypeople), four of whom must be identified as delegates to our electing convention. They must also answer the same four essay questions found on the original application form, and a question as to why they are submitting in the petition process. A letter of recommendation from their current bishop is also required.
Once all petitions, if any, have been received, and are found to be in complete and proper form, a full and complete background check and reference checks, will be conducted for these new candidates. If the checks are fully satisfactory, and approved by the standing committee, these persons, if any, will be added to the names of persons qualifying as candidates for election at the electing convention on February 2 at St. Bartholomew’s, Poway. All candidates, including qualified petition candidates, will be in the diocese for walkabout during the week of January 14, so that we all may get to know them better before the electing convention. We hope all delegates, and people throughout the diocese, will get an opportunity to meet our final group of nominees.