A note from the Bishop
It’s hard to believe it was a very hot day in June 2002 when I was elected to episcopal ministry to serve as suffragan (assistant) bishop with Bishop Bruce Howe. After a number of years in that capacity, I was then called to serve you as the 12th bishop of Huron.
With the Dec. 31 retirement of Bishop Terry Dance, it is time to consider the transition that lies before us. Life, after all, is a series of transitions.
After much prayer and consultation about episcopal transition in Huron; I have called for the election of a coadjutor bishop. Vice-chancellor Jim Ferguson, in the article that follows, outlines the process for us.
I invite each of you to read, mark and inwardly digest the description of the journey that will take us to our 13th diocesan bishop.
Please keep Synod members in prayer (1 Thess. 5:15-16) as they prepare to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Church (Revelation 2:11). Our tradition helps point the way:
- for those who love the Book of Common Prayer, page 44
- for those who love the Book of Alternative Services, page 676
- for an episcopal ministry description, see the BAS page 633
by James D. Ferguson
Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese of Huron
An election for a coadjutor bishop has been called for Saturday, Feb. 13 (with Feb. 20 as a back-up snow date).
This article summarizes the process that will be unfolding over the next six months. Full details are contained in Sections 17 to 24 of the Constitution. (Go to www.diohuron.org, click “What We Do”, then “Administration and Finance”.)
At its June 19 meeting, Diocesan Council called for the election of a coadjutor bishop in February at the request of Bishop Bob Bennett. In accordance with the Constitution, the council will be the nominating committee.
The significance of electing a coadjutor bishop is that at the time Bishop Bennett decides to retire, the coadjutor bishop will automatically become the diocesan bishop.
At the council’s Sept. 26 meeting, each member of the nominating committee may nominate by secret written ballot up to three eligible persons (any priest in the Anglican Communion of at least 30 years of age and ordained for at least seven years). The council may request the Provincial House of Bishops to nominate up to an additional three names.
The slate of nominees will be determined by taking the names nominated by the Provincial House of Bishops and adding those from the nominating committee who received the highest number of nominations for a total of not more than 10 nominations, plus ties. A nominee from the nominating committee has to receive at least five votes to qualify.
An Electoral Procedures Committee has been named, chaired by the vice-chancellor and comprised of three clerics and two other laity. The Committee members are Reverends Marty Levesque, Robert Clifford, and Kristen Oliver, with Scott Saunders and Karen Perrin as the other two lay representatives.
This committee contacts the nominees to confirm their willingness to stand. Willing nominees will be required to provide a recent photograph and biographical information, including educational background, work experience outside the church, date of ordination, appointments, and service in the church. The committee will provide a list of the nominees in alphabetical order with the biographical information and photo to members of Synod as soon as possible but no later than 20 days prior to the electoral synod.
The Constitution permits additional nominees to be named by five members of Synod. These nominations would be forwarded to the chair of the Electoral Procedures Committee and must be received at least 10 clear days before the Electoral Synod. The biographical materials, photographs and written answers shall be made available as soon as it is practicable.
The committee will ask the Deanery Councils to provide questions for the nominees. The committee will review them and decide on the questions to be posed. The questions and answers will be published in the Huron Church News and/or the Diocese of Huron website not later than seven days before the Electoral Synod.
The honorary secretaries of Synod will, upon the instructions of the Diocesan Council, give notice to all Synod members of the Electoral Synod.
The procedures for introducing the candidates to Synod members will be established by the Electoral Procedures Committee with the concurrence of the Diocesan Council.
At the Electoral Synod, the Electoral Procedures Committee will appoint scrutineers and count ballots, with voting taking place by orders – bishops, priests, laity — separately. Bishop Bennett will chair the Electoral Synod.
When any nominee receives more than half of the votes cast in each order, voting separately, our next coadjutor bishop will be elected. The consecration will take place in April.