Bishops suffragan have the sacramental authority of bishops and sit in the House of Bishops with other bishops. But their administrative authority is at the discretion of the diocesan bishop (Shannon Johnston). Basically, a Bishop Suffragan is an assistant bishop.
The duties of our new suffragan develop are in a profile of the diocese (noted below in one of the links). The duties were written by Bishop Johnston, and those duties are:
Our Bishop Suffragan will be an integral part of the team of bishops who lead our diocese, a team led by our Diocesan Bishop Shannon Johnston, who has prepared this job description for our new Bishop Suffragan:
- The Bishop Suffragan will support and serve the diocese and its ministry priorities by providing oversight for a number of specific ministries as assigned by the diocesan bishop.
- The Bishop Suffragan will be responsible for new and continuing congregations (including oversight of both continuing congregations and, should the Diocese of Virginia prevail in the property litigation, the discernment process for use of church properties recovered for the mission of The Episcopal Church at the conclusion of the current litigation), overseeing the work of the Commission on Congregational Missions to provide direction, support and guidance to mission churches.
- He or she will oversee our efforts in multicultural ministry with the Diocese of Virginia’s non- English speaking congregations, which currently include four Spanish-speaking missions, two Spanish-speaking worship services, two Sudanese language worship services, two Korean missions, and one Vietnamese mission. The Bishop Suffragan will work to expand the ministries and create new ministries to serve the whole diocese.
- The Bishop Suffragan will support the Diocesan Bishop in the mission priority for youth and young adult ministries, including the exercise of oversight of college chaplaincies and the ongoing creation of new ministries serving young adults.
- The Bishop Suffragan will maintain a full schedule of parish visitation and provide regular Episcopal oversight and pastoral support for clergy, in addition to other duties as assigned.
The announcement from the Nominating Committee is below, including to a profile of the diocese:
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