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Why should I care who serves as bishop?
Bishops have a tremendous responsibility. The catechism of the Anglican Church of North America states “Bishops represent and serve Christ and the Church as chief pastors, catechists, and missionaries in the tradition of the apostles. They are to confirm and ordain, and to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church.” (page 60 question 143)
How is a bishop elected?
The process of electing a bishop is lengthy, typically spanning 18 months. Below is an overview of the process.
- A nominating committee is assembled, prayerfully, by the diocesan standing committee.
- The nominating committee surveys the diocese to obtain information about the health of the diocese, important issues currently involving the membership, and characteristics the diocese feels are important in its bishop.
- A diocesan profile, bishop qualifications, and a job description are published by the committee.
- Nominations are obtained.
- Candidates are vetted by the nominating committee through a lengthy process of interviews, discussions with references, travel to home parishes, as well as significant candidate review and prayer.
- Final candidates have the opportunity to meet and speak to individual parishes within the diocese.
- A slate of candidates (typically 2 or 3 people) is submitted for voting at an electing synod.
What is an electing synod?
An electing synod is a meeting of the churches within the diocese. It is composed of the same people as a normal synod (clergy and lay delegates) but is called for the sole purpose of electing a bishop. At the meeting, representatives from each church pray and vote for candidates. The more candidates submitted, the longer the process. After the voting is complete (typically multiple rounds), a single person is elected as bishop.
What happens after the election ?
What is apostolic succession?
This term refers to the ability of bishops to trace their lineage back to the apostles. Each bishop has been consecrated by someone who has previously undergone the same prayer and laying on of hands by another bishop. This can be traced backwards in time to the apostles, maintaining an unbroken line of succession.
The office of bishop was not created by the Church but by Christ and willed by him for the Church. Through the historic succession of bishops, the Church is visibly connected to the ministry of the apostles.
Click here to learn more about apostolic succession and to see how the bishop we elect will be connected to St. Peter through it.
What are the basic requirements for a man to be nominated for bishop?
- MDiv degree or equivalent
- Minimum 10 years of parish ministry experience
- Not divorced
- Ordained in the Anglican Church
What are the qualifications to be a bishop in the ACNA?
First and foremost, the bible speaks to the qualifications of a leader in the church:
- 1 Timothy 3:1-13: Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
- Titus 1:5-9: Appointing Elders Who Love What Is Good
- 1 Peter 5:1-4: To the Elders and the Flock
In addition, the ACNA Provincial Canons outline further criteria in Title III, Canon 8, section 3:
Section 3 – Concerning Criteria for the Episcopate
To be a suitable candidate for the episcopate, a person must:
1. Be a person of prayer and strong faith;
2. Be pious, have good morals and exhibit Godly character;
3. Have a zeal for souls;
4. Have demonstrated evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit;
5. Possess the knowledge and gifts which equip him to fulfill the office;
6. Be held in good esteem by the faithful;
7. Be a male Presbyter at least 35 years old;
8. Have demonstrated the ability to lead and grow the Church.
Lastly, candidates should match the qualifications described in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese Bishop candidate profile.
Can someone outside the Gulf Atlantic Diocese be considered as a candidate for our next bishop?
Who are the members of the Bishop Nominating Committee?
The Bishop Nominating Committee is made up of the following members:
- The Rev. David Trautman (Chair)
- The Rev. Dr. Travis Boline
- The Rev. Canon Dr. Jessica Jones
- The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Petty
- Dr. Sam Ashoo
- Heather Allert
- Kaiti Kirby (Youth)
- Gabe Holloway
- Mark Wilkerson
How are names submitted to the Bishop Nominating Committee for consideration?
Candidates are formally nominated by a delegate to the electing synod. Delegates include clergy and lay members from each parish in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese.