The Search Committee (seven clergy and eight laity) began its work with an organizational meeting on July 10. Our search consultant, Rev. Dr. Diane Vie, reviewed the overall search process. We spent time talking about how the role of the bishop is not a job but rather a calling. Is this individual we are calling the “right fit” for this diocese? Our mandate is to provide a slate of qualified candidates to the Standing Committee by April 1, 2022. The process is in three phases – preparing a diocesan profile, collecting nominations, and screening the applicants.
The initial phase is immediate. Within a month, we will schedule listening sessions in the four regions of our diocese – New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Northshore, and the Southwest. Details are forthcoming as we are finalizing the dates, the locations, the moderators, and the snacks. We will organize a Zoom session, too. We have hired an outside firm to conduct a survey. Based on the various feedback, we will prepare a diocesan profile. The profile answers questions such as “Who are we?”, “Where is God calling us to next?”, and “What qualities are we looking for in our next bishop?” By the latter half of October, we are to present a profile to the Standing Committee for approval, and then present at Diocesan Convention.
The second phase is the nomination process. Through multiple national and international channels, the diocese will announce this opportunity. Every interested individual will submit a package for us to evaluate. We will close off nominations by December 31.
The third phase is the vetting process. The Search Committee will review the nominations, check references, and interview the final candidates. We plan to present a slate of candidates to the Standing Committee by March 31.
The Transitions Committee (a separate group) will then organize in-person visits and walkabouts for the candidates. We have scheduled an election convention for May 14, 2022. Once we elect a bishop, among other requirements, the diocese solicits approval from the other Episcopal dioceses. God willing, we will ordain and consecrate this individual as our bishop on November 19, 2022.
A PRAYER FOR THE SELECTION OF OUR NEXT BISHOP
Heavenly Father, you oversee all that we say and do. Guide the people of the
Diocese of Louisiana in the selection of our next bishop, that we may be led by your
Holy Spirit. Direct us toward the person you desire to fill this role. Lead us to a
person of integrity, a person of prayer, and a person of faith, who is capable of carrying out your wishes for our future. Above all, may our new leader be one who is willing to receive your unconditional love, and pass it on to those near and far. We pray
this in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. AMEN.