The first major step in electing the successor to Bishop Chip Stokes—who will retire in 2023—is for all congregations to meet on Sept. 26 to elect delegates to a meeting of their convocation (a defined geographic grouping of congregations within the diocese) on Oct. 24.
The diocese has issued instructions to ensure smooth and consistent running of the congregational meetings. They can be found on this page, which is part of the special web section set up for all things related to the election of the 13th bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey. It also includes information on nominating individuals to serve on the Bishop Search & Nomination Committee.
Written notice of the meeting needs to be circulated to congregational members, physically posted on the church doors, and announced during services on the two Sundays preceding the meeting itself. A sample of such notice is:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, that a meeting of the congregation of ______ Church will be held on Sunday, September 26, at ______ via Zoom meeting. The only business to be conducted at such meeting will be the election of special delegates pursuant to Diocese of New Jersey Canon 9(4)(a) to represent the congregation at a special meeting of the _______ Convocation to be held October 24, 2021 for the election of convocational members of the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee.
Congregation members—both lay and clergy—play a vital role in the search for and election of a bishop. Please prayerfully consider whom to nominate to serve on the Bishop Search and Nomination Committee and submit their names. Please also prayerfully consider your willingness to represent your congregation to the convocational meeting to choose the committee, and put your name forward.