Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, a way of life

Bishop's Writing / Enews February 2024


Dear People of God,


It seems a little anticlimactic to be writing an Enews letter just days before the Electing Convention for the Ninth Bishop of Rochester. So, we will probably have a second edition next week.


As we approach the election, I hope that we all are holding the delegates and the nominees in prayers. An Electing Convention is a slow moving train. There are lots of steps to ensure that each ballot is cast properly and verified. We have an independent auditor to assist us with this process. We can’t skip any steps, and that means that, even though we are voting electronically, it will take a half an hour or so for each ballot. We also want to uphold the election with our prayers as we go. There will be times of spoken prayers and singing. So, for the viewer watching online, the Convention may seem slow indeed.


There have been questions about how delegates should cast their ballots. Are they to vote their conscience or to vote their parish’s opinion? It’s important to recognize that we have elected delegates, not representatives, and their job is to vote their conscience. Hopefully, that conscience has been informed by conversations in parish meetings and with individuals, but they cast their votes as the Spirit directs them. Although we don’t talk about it as much as we should, it is our belief that when we gather in Convention (or in parish meetings) the Holy Spirit is present and guides our decisions. That’s also why there is time between ballots for reflection and prayer.


Our diocesan Constitution restricts participation in the Electing Convention to delegates and canonically resident clergy. So the Convention will be a bit smaller than usual. There will be no gallery, so the Convention is being broadcast. I anticipate that there will be many viewers from the diocese and from across the church. The link for the online broadcast and instructions for viewing are presented elsewhere in this Enews. I hope you will join the online audience.


I am very excited about this election. I think we have outstanding nominees, and I’m grateful for the many people who have been part of the Standing Committee, the Discernment and Nominating Committee, and the Transition Committee. They have brought us to this hopeful place and will carry us forward to the Consecration. We have much work to do, but the enthusiasm and energy of the diocese are growing. I couldn’t be happier about this development.


Please keep Kara, Lauren and Rachel and the Electing Convention in your fervent prayers this week.