The next big milestone in the election of the 13th Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey is upon us.
Nominations of lay and clergy people to serve on the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee are due by this Sunday, Oct. 17. Delegates elected at the congregational meetings held on Sept. 26 will vote on nominees from each convocation to sit on the committee. Nominations after Oct. 17 may still be submitted from the floor of the online convocation meetings scheduled for Oct. 24.
The committee has a big job, prayerfully discerning which candidates to seek out and to present to the diocese for possible election as our next bishop. Our search consultant describes the demands of the job this way:
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.
We are seeking a diverse group of lay and clergy from across the diocese to serve on this committee. We’re also hoping to use this committee to expand our representation beyond all “the usual suspects,” those who—because of their valuable, faithful service—have voices that may speak louder than others. Our next bishop may serve and lead the diocese into the 2030s and beyond. The committee that helps choose that bishop should be truly representative of our diocese as it is and as it is becoming. A recent letter to the diocese from the Rev. Ed Zelley, president of the Standing Committee, has more information about the roles and responsibilities of committee members. Other information about the process of electing our next bishop is available here on our Web site.