Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nominating Committee chosen for bishop suffragan election; Mildred Robinson named to panel

As you may know by now, Bishop David Jones will be retiring in a year as our suffragan bishop, and we will be electing a new bishop on April 21, 2012.

The bishop suffragan does not have the authority of a diocesan bishop (who for us is Shannon Johnston), but nonetheless bishop suffragans have great responsibility and are full members of the House of Bishops.

The election of any bishop is a major event in the life of the The Episcopal Church, made more so because the Diocese of Virginia is the largest domestic diocese in terms of membership. Elections begin with a nominating committee that vets potential candidates and proposes a slate for election.

I am very pleased to report that our own Mildred Robinson has been chosen to be on the Nominating Committee. Here is a letter from Bishop Shannon Monday reporting his appointments to the two committees that will guide the election:

Dear Diocesan Family,

As we prepare for Bishop Jones' retirement at our next Annual Council in January 2012 and a celebration of his ministry, we will undertake the search for a bishop suffragan. I'm writing today to encourage us all to embrace this opportunity, and to recognize it as such: an opportunity to celebrate and give thanks for Bishop Jones; an opportunity to examine our health and needs as a diocese; and an opportunity to welcome new episcopal leadership to the Diocese of Virginia.

The election process is watched over by two committees. First, the Nominating Committee is charged with engaging the Diocese of Virginia in a discussion about who and where we are as a diocese, and then to undertake faithful, prayerful discernment to identify a slate of not less than four nor more than six nominees to stand for election. Once the nominees are announced, the Transition Committee takes the lead in the process. They are charged to introduce the nominees to the Diocese through the "walkabout" process. The committee then serves as a liaison to the nominees during the election. They also assist in organizing the consecration. The Transition Committee will continue as a resource for the new bishop as he or she begins this new episcopal ministry. Most importantly, the members of the Transition Committee provide pastoral support to the nominees and their families through and after the election.

With the thoughtful advice and unanimous consent of the Standing Committee, I have appointed the Nominating and the Transition Committees as requested by resolution at Council. Two gifted members of our diocese will lead these committees: Ms. Allyson Getlein of St. Andrew's, Richmond will chair the Nominating Committee and the Rev. Jim Dannals, rector of St. George's, Fredericksburg, will chair the Transition Committee.

The members of these committees have accepted a call to serve, first and foremost. I have every confidence in their collective ability to lead us through the search and transition process with sound wisdom and faithful judgment.

The job set before these two groups is not a small task. The Rt. Rev. David C. Jones, our bishop suffragan, leaves a legacy of profound excellence in ministry. These committees will seek not to replace Bishop Jones, but to honor his ministry by seeking out candidates who are well equipped to live out the tradition of dedication and gracious spirit established by Bishop Jones in his 17-year ministry as a bishop.

In the weeks to come, both committees will start their work, spend time in prayer and retreat, and start producing search process materials that will be made available on the diocesan Web site. The key dates are these: the Nominating Committee will announce nominees shortly after Annual Council in 2012; the walkabouts will occur in March and the election will take place on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The consecration will occur on July 28, 2012, with the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori joining us to celebrate that wonderful day. More details will be forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, I ask for your prayers during this time of transition: prayers for Bishop Jones as he continues his faithful ministry amongst us this next year; prayers for a spirit-filled search process; prayers for our dedicated Nominating and Transition Committees, named below; and, as always, prayers for our diocese.


The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston

Bishop of Virginia

Nominating Committee

Ms. Allyson Getlein, Chair

St. Andrew's, Richmond

Mr. Sam Bridges

St. Francis', Great Falls

Ms. Ellyn Crawford

St. George's, Arlington

The Rev. Ross Kane

St. Paul's, Alexandria

The Rev. Lucia Lloyd

St. Stephen's, Heathsville

The Rev. Alexander MacPhail

Beckford Parish (Emmanuel, Woodstock &
St. Andrew's, Mt. Jackson)

The Rev. Cuthbert Mandell

Aquia Church, Stafford

Ms. Kendall Metz

Grace Church, Alexandria

Mr. Russell Randle

Christ Church, Alexandria

Ms. Mildred Robinson

St. Paul's Memorial, Charlottesville

Mr. Alex Slaughter

St. James's, Richmond

The Rev. Sven vanBaars

Abingdon, White Marsh

Transition Committee

The Rev. Jim Dannals, Chair

St. George's, Fredericksburg

Mr. Robert Allen

St. Stephen's, Richmond

The Rev. Dr. Don Binder

Pohick Church, Lorton

The Rev. Kate Chipps

St. Margaret's, Woodbridge

Ms. Joan Inger

St. Paul's on the Hill, Winchester

Ms. Barbara Maniha

Holy Comforter, Vienna

The Rev. Daniel Robayo

Emmanuel, Harrisonburg

Mr. Joseph Royster

Meade Memorial, Alexandria

The Rev. John Sheehan

Church of the Redeemer, Aldie

Mr. Dick Shirey

St. James the Less, Ashland

Ms. Mareea Wilson

St. Barnabas', Annandale

The Rev. Deacon Barbara Ambrose

St. Andrew's, Richmond

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