Bishop's Writing / Enews April 2022
Dear Friends in Christ Jesus,
As I write, Covid is once again surging in our region. In the last few days, priests of the diocese and a member of the staff have tested positive for the virus. I urge you all to be cautious about in-person meetings and encourage masking for public worship. I remind you that the common cup is not authorized yet, and I hope we will continue to keep the needs of the vulnerable at the forefront of our thinking as we go about our ministries. I am taking a break from in-person meetings for a couple of weeks.
I want to spend the rest of this note raising some questions about the election of the next bishop. These are questions for you to ponder as we begin to make preparations for that election.
The first question has to do with viability. Are we as a diocese sustainable? We have the gift of substantial diocesan and parish investments and endowments. At the same time, many of our parishes are quite small. Many survive on diocesan grants. Fifteen are currently without a designated priest. Do you think the diocese is sustainable going forward? Should we partner with a neighboring diocese? What questions do you have?
The second question concerns readiness. Do you think we are ready to elect a bishop? Do we know what we need to know? What sort of preparation do you think we need? If we are not ready, what would help us become ready? We have plenty of time available for the process.
Third, what is your sense about our direction and ministries as a diocese? What should our priorities be? What vision do you have for the diocese?
Last, what sort of personal qualities and skills would make someone a suitable bishop for our diocese? What have we learned from our recent experience? What do we hope for in the future?
These are intentionally broad and open-ended questions. Their purpose is not to produce simple answers, but to provoke reflection and conversation. Perhaps you might discuss questions like these in your parish or with your vestry. Such reflection can lay a solid foundation for our work together as we seek God’s will for our diocese.