SECTION 1. Prior Consents for Elections of Bishops Coadjutor or Suffragan. Before an election of a Bishop Coadjutor or Bishop Suffragan can be authorized, the election process, including a budget provision for the election and the position, must be approved by a regular or special meeting of the Diocesan Convention.
- Whenever the Bishop of the Diocese wishes to call for the election of a Suffragan Bishop or a Bishop Coadjutor, the Bishop shall give written notice to all members of the Convention not later than sixty days before the annual or special meeting of the Convention at which the request will be considered.
- The Diocesan Council, with the assistance of the Finance and Budget Committee, shall prepare and adopt a proposed financial plan to defray all expenses to be incurred in connection with the election, in a manner that incorporates the expenses into the Diocesan Budget over a period not to exceed three years. The plan shall include appropriations for the work of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee and the Transition Committee provided for in this Canon, the cost of the Electing Convention, and the cost of the Consecration Service. The plan shall also set the proposed initial level of compensation for the new bishop and provide for the moving expenses of the new bishop. A copy of the proposed financial plan shall be mailed to all members of the Convention not later than thirty days before the meeting of the Convention referred to in subsection (a) of Section 1 of this
- The Convention shall act first on the Bishop’s request for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor or Suffragan, and if that is approved the Convention shall then consider the financial plan proposed by the Council. The Convention may adopt the plan as proposed, adopt a modified version of the plan, or reject the plan. Only if the Convention approves both the resolution consenting to the election and the financial plan may the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese proceed to seek the consent of a majority of the Bishops exercising jurisdiction and of the Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church for such election to go forward. Upon receipt of such consents, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall promptly begin the process of electing a Bishop Search and Nomination Committee as set forth in Section 4 of this
SECTION 2. In the event of the death of the Bishop Diocesan, the dissolution of the pastoral relationship between the Diocese and the Bishop Diocesan, or upon the Bishop Diocesan’s giving notice of resignation or retirement, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall promptly begin the process of electing a Bishop Search and Nomination Committee as set forth in Section 4 of this Canon.
Simultaneously, the Diocesan Council shall prepare and adopt a financial plan as described in subsection (b) of Section 1 of this Canon for the election of a successor, to be mailed to all members of the Convention not later than thirty days before the next annual or special meeting of the Convention. The Convention may adopt the plan as proposed or adopt a modified version of the plan.
SECTION 3. Composition of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee. When a bishop is to be elected, there shall be a Bishop Search and Nomination Committee consisting of 16 Convocational Members and six Members-At-Large, elected in the following manner:
- One member of the clergy and one lay person shall be elected in each convocation of the Diocese in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 of this
- Six additional Members-At-Large, either clergy or lay, shall be elected by the Convocational Members. The election shall be by majority vote of all the Convocational In electing the Members-At-Large, the Convocational Members shall be as inclusive as possible to insure that the Committee is representative of the entire Diocese.
- In addition to the elected members, a Chair shall be appointed by the Bishop with the advice and consent of the Standing Committee. If there is no Bishop, the appointment shall be made by the Standing Committee. The Committee, including all At-Large Members, shall elect a Vice-Chair from the members of the Committee.
- Lay members of the Committee shall be confirmed adult communicants in good standing of a Parish or Mission within the Clergy members shall be canonically resident in the Diocese.
- Vacancies among Convocational Members shall be filled by appointment of the Dean of the Convocation. Vacancies among the Members-At-Large shall be filled by the
SECTION 4. Election of Bishop Search and Nomination Committee Members by Convocations. Convocational Members shall be elected in the following manner:
- When the Ecclesiastical Authority announces the call for the election of a bishop, the Ecclesiastical Authority shall appoint a specific Sunday for Special Meetings to be held in each Parish and Mission of the Diocese to elect special delegates to a special meeting in each convocation for the purpose of electing members of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee. On that Sunday, every Parish and Mission in the Diocese shall hold a special meeting of the Congregation, in accordance with the provisions of the
Canons of the Diocese and the laws of the State of New Jersey, for the purpose of electing six special delegates to the special meeting of the Convocation. The Chair of the meeting shall forthwith certify to the Dean of the Convocation and to the Ecclesiastical Authority the names and addresses of the persons elected.
- On the fourth Sunday thereafter, the Dean of each convocation shall convene a Special Meeting to elect members of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee, due notice having been given to each church in the convocation. Those entitled to vote at the meeting shall be the six duly certified Special Delegates from each Parish and Mission in the Convocation and all members of the clergy, canonically resident in the Diocese, who exercise their ministry within the Convocation or who reside in the Convocation. The election shall be by ballot and a majority of the votes cast shall be necessary for election. It shall be the duty of each Dean to certify forthwith to the Ecclesiastical Authority the names, addresses and the telephone numbers of the persons
SECTION 5. Self-Study and Diocesan Profile. The Bishop Search and Nomination Committee shall be responsible for conducting a Diocesan Self-Study. Using information developed by a Diocesan Self-Study, the Committee shall develop a Diocesan Profile. The Committee may engage such professional assistance as it deems reasonable to complete its task.
SECTION 6. Obtaining Candidates.
- The Bishop Search and Nomination Committee shall take the steps necessary to encourage the recommendation of qualified candidates and shall circulate the Diocesan Profile and other pertinent information to all clergy, Parishes, and Missions of the Diocese, the Office of Transition Ministry of the Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop and all active Bishops of the Episcopal Church notifying them that recommendations are being received, and stating the process for nomination and election.
- The Committee shall screen all candidates recommended and shall establish its own procedures for determining which candidates are best suited for nomination. It shall submit a list of no fewer than four nor more than six candidates to be placed in nomination at the Electing
- Not later than one year after it is constituted, the Committee shall report to the members of the Electing Convention and to the Diocese as a whole, the names of the persons to be nominated by it at the Electing Convention, together with a brief biography of each nominee. The committee shall include notice of the Electing Convention with its The date of the electing Convention shall not be less than three months nor more than five months after the date the report is issued.
SECTION 7. Independent Nominations. When the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee has announced its list of nominees, there shall be a period of 30 days after the date when its report is issued during which Independent Nominations to the electing Convention may be made. No independent nominations shall be received after that date. The Committee shall provide, upon request, a Nomination Petition Form on which the deadline for submitting independent nominations and the method of submitting them is clearly stated. The Nomination Petition shall require the signatures of at least two persons from at least five Convocations.
SECTION 8. Final Report of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee. After the period for receiving independent nominations has expired, the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee shall publish an Election Booklet containing the names, photographs, and biographical sketches of all nominees and such other material about the nominees as the Committee shall choose to include. The Election Booklet shall state which nominees were nominated by the Committee and which were nominated independently, but in every other respect all nominees shall be treated
equally. The Election Booklet shall include a detailed statement of the election process including the Proposed Rules of Order and Agenda for the Electing Convention. The Election Booklet shall be distributed to each member of the Electing Convention not less than 30 days before the electing Convention and also made available to the Diocese as a whole.
SECTION 9. Introduction of Nominees to the Diocese. After the Election Booklet has been distributed, the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee shall provide one or more opportunities for members of the Electing Convention to meet and confer with all nominees. Opportunity shall also be afforded all members of the Diocese to meet the nominees. The Committee shall be responsible for establishing the time, place, and format of any pre-Convention meeting of candidates. All such meetings shall be complete at least seven days prior to the Electing Convention.
SECTION 10. Composition and Duties of the Transition Committee. There shall be a Transition Committee consisting of between eight and twelve members. Lay members of the committee shall be confirmed adult communicants in good standing of a Parish or Mission within the Diocese. Clergy members shall be canonically resident in the Diocese. The composition of the committee and its duties shall be as follows:
- Following the organization of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee by the appointment of its Chair and the election of its Members-At-Large, the Standing Committee shall appoint a Chair for the Transition Committee, and the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee shall choose one of its members to be a liaison member of the Transition Committee. The Chair and the liaison member shall then consult with the Standing Committee to assist it in appointing the remaining members of the Transition Members should be considered for their aptitude, experience, and expertise in the tasks required of the committee. The committee members should organize themselves at least six months before the expected date of the Electing Convention.
- The Transition Committee shall be responsible for planning and overseeing the Electing Convention. Subject to the consent of the Ecclesiastical Authority, and in consultation with the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee, the Transition Committee shall fix the date, time, and place of the Electing Convention. The committee shall strive to ensure that the entire process of nominating and electing a Bishop is conducted in a pastoral manner. The committee shall confer with the Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business for the Electing Convention to assist it in developing Rules of Order and an Agenda for the Electing Convention. The committee shall communicate regularly with members of the Electing Convention and with the Diocese at large to ensure an active awareness of the entire election process. The Ecclesiastical Authority may for good cause adjourn the date of the Electing Convention and reschedule the same with the advice and consent of the Transition Committee.
- The Transition Committee shall provide pastoral and practical assistance to any present bishop, the bishop-elect, and their spouses and families throughout the transition
- The Transition Committee shall be responsible for planning and overseeing the leave-taking of an incumbent bishop, the relocation of the family of the bishop-elect, and the services of consecration or induction of the bishop-elect.
- The Transition Committee should coordinate its tasks as necessary with the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee, the Standing Committee, and diocesan
SECTION 11. Placing in Nomination. At the Electing Convention, the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee shall place in nomination all names listed in the Election Booklet.
Nominations from the floor of Convention shall not be permitted. No nominating speeches or laudatory addresses shall be made on behalf of any nominee.