Diocese to Elect its Next Bishop

Contributed by: Steve Welch, Canon for Communications

photo of electing convention runthrough

Diocesan staff and volunteers at a Jan. 27 runthrough prior to Saturday’s Electing Convention at Trinity Cathedral

During the Electing Convention Saturday beginning at 9:00, live video from the cathedral will be available above.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, diocesan clergy and deputies of diocesan congregations will gather at Trinity Cathedral and online via Zoom to elect the next bishop of New Jersey. The event will be carried live on social media and in the video window on this page.

Clergy and deputies attending via Zoom must register for the Zoom meeting prior to the event using the link provided to them in an email from the diocese. Zoom links are unique; you cannot use someone else’s. Zoom registrations must also be manually approved by diocesan staff, so the longer you wait, the more likely you will not be able to join the meeting from the start.

The Electing Convention begins at 9:00 a.m. with Morning Prayer, with the convention proper starting at 10:00.

Download the Election Booklet

Download the Morning Prayer bulletin

More than 200 clergy and deputies are expected to attend in person at the Cathedral, with more than 300 joining via Zoom. The only business on the agenda is the election of the 13th bishop of the diocese.

The election consists of a series of votes by orders, meaning that clergy votes and lay votes are counted separately. A candidate must receive more than 50 percent of both clergy and lay votes to be successfully elected.

Whether in person or online, all deputies and clergy will vote electronically with credentials that have already been emailed to them. Those at the Cathedral will need to bring an Internet-equipped device—laptop, tablet, or phone—on which to vote.

Note: In-person attendees are asked to limit their use of the Internet to voting only. With so many people using the same Internet connection, bandwidth can become an issue. Under no circumstance should someone attending in person also watch the livestream or Zoom, both to preserve bandwidth and to avoid audio issues at the cathedral.

Clergy and lay deputies will vote for one of five candidates— The Rev. Canon Dr. Dena Cleaver-Bartholomew, Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Rhode Island; The Rev. Canon Dr. Sally French, Canon for Regional Ministry and Collaborative Innovation, Diocese of North Carolina; The Very Rev. Troy Mendez, Dean, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, Arizona; The Rev. Janine Schenone, Rector, Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, San Diego, California; or The Rev. Dr. Mauricio Jose Wilson, Rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Oakland, California.

Candidates’ biographies, sample sermons, and other information are available of the NJ Bishop Search Web site. Videos of the candidates answering questions at various locations around the diocese are available here.

If no candidate receives the required vote percentage on the first ballot, each candidate will be given an opportunity to prayerfully consider whether to continue in the process, and either withdraw or proceed. Subsequent ballots will be conducted in the same way until one candidate is successful. When a candidate receives the requisite vote, Bishop Stokes will privately call the candidate to inform him or her, and to confirm the candidate will accept the election. The results will then be publicly announced, and the bishop-elect will be given the opportunity to address the convention.

Live video will be available beginning Saturday @ 9:00 on the diocesan Web site and social media channels below