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Guidance for Candidates to Bishop Search Committee & Transition Committee

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Diocese of New Jersey:

I have had a number of inquiries about what is the time commitment and what might be the skills necessary for those on the Search Committee who will be elected at the Special Convocation meetings to be held on October 24. The Dean of your Convocation will be sending you the Zoom links.

So here is what the Consultant to the Search said:

ON AVERAGE 10 hours per week. There will be times when it takes more (the discernment retreat will take three straight days) There will be some all day or most day meetings. There will be Zoom interviews. There will also be homework and helping with listening sessions.

Like I say, about 10 hours per week average, but there will be other times that will require a large commitment. Being present for the entire discernment retreat is a requirement. One cannot come for part of the time or commute.

He also provided the following as you discern whether you are called to be on the Search Committee or are considering nominating someone to stand for election. Remember to use the nomination form on the Diocesan Website.

Skills for those on a Search Committee

  • Good Communication skills
  • Technological skills
  • Able to work through consensus—clarity about consensus
  • Good listener
  • Awareness of the impact upon the lives of other committee members and candidates
  • Ability to follow up
  • Integrity between personal and diocesan values
  • Knowledge of the wider Church
  • Not the usual suspects
  • Flexible—open to new possibilities
  • Able to connect with people
  • A real sense of radical hospitality
  • Able to discern for the diocese not just for themselves
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Willingness to commit to the extensive time
  • Pastoral sense
  • Spiritual maturity
  • Value Chaplaincy
  • Organized
  • Work together
  • Delegate
  • Understand how teams work
  • Not into conflict
  • Knows how to email and actually reads it.
  • Have stamina and support to be on committee
  • Visible spiritual/prayer life
  • Has been a part of a discernment processes or knows it
  • Discerning heart
  • Task oriented
  • Can set aside personal agendas

Please know that we will also be looking for people to serve on the Transition Committee. This committee is appointed by the Standing Committee. A description of the duties of the Transition Committee can be found in Canon 9 Section 10. We will be seeking first a Chair for the committee. Some of the skills needed are listed below. If you know of anyone who you believe would be a good candidate for us to consider please speak to them and if they agree let me know and we will invite them to come and speak with the Standing Committee.

Chair of Committee:

  • Leader, organizer
  • Easily works with others and calls out their talents – is not a lone ranger
  • Organize committee and call people to accountability
  • Use people’s talents for the good of the whole
  • Understand appropriate boundaries
  • Can encourage and manage conversations

Skills needed for the Committee members are as follows:

  • Organizational ability
  • Task oriented—can and does meet deadlines
  • Ability to make connections—ability to network with others and seek help from others
  • Politically aware of diocesan issues.
  • Able to delegate and bring in help in areas where there is no expertise (tasks)
  • Sensitivity to length and breadth of diocese.

I hope you continue to join me as we pray for the formation of these Committees and for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we seek our next bishop.

Yours in Christ,
The Reverend Edmund W. Zelley
President of Standing Committee
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