The Bishop's Election
Some of you noticed that we reverted back to praying for "Our Future Bishop" this past Sunday. There have been some developments in the Bishop's Election. While we were hoping to have more answers for you by the time of this publication, we expect to hear more from the Diocese shortly and want to make sure you are up to date.
As you probably know by now, the Diocese of Florida met for a Special Convention May 14 to elect a successor to Bishop Howard. (A “bishop coadjutor” serves alongside a diocesan bishop until the latter retires, at which time the former becomes the new diocesan bishop.) A quorum of voting delegates must be reached in both the lay house and the clergy house. Based on pre-registration numbers, it became apparent just a few days before the Special Convention that quorum of clergy would not be reached.
Various long-standing rules and regulations were quickly worked around in the 48 hours prior to the election to allow for a hybrid election (online and in-person). The election proceeded and an election of a new Bishop was proclaimed on the third ballot.
Within days a formal procedural protest was lodged by more than 10% of the delegates, which prompted a mandatory investigation by the Court of Review of the Episcopal Church- an impartial board made up of people from various diocese around the country charged with investigating the procedural objections made. The court’s report came back in early August, finding that important and necessary rules were not followed. You can read the Court of Review's report here.
Despite ongoing review over the course of the summer, the diocese moved forward with relocating the bishop-elect to Jacksonville, giving him an office at diocesan headquarters and a salary.
Based on the findings of the court, the bishop-elect has now withdrawn his acceptance of his election, but is still listed on the diocesan website as a member of staff. He has written that he still hopes to be our bishop, perhaps via a new election. Last week Bishop Howard made a video explaining the diocese’s official responses to the court’s findings and calling for a new election as soon as possible.
As of this past Monday, Standing Committee announced their intention to hold an election with a limited number of candidates at Camp Weed on November 19th. They also published a new process for candidates to be added by petition.
We pray the Holy Spirit will intercede and lead us to a path which will help us to unify and unite the diocese, allowing all voices to be heard and appreciated, while following the constitution and canons set forth by the National and Local Church.
No matter what happens on the Diocesan or National level, we at St. Andrew's will continue to focus on our mission tending to our little corner of the Kingdom. I hope you will join me in our continued prayer and work.