Bishop Hollerith and a deputation from Diocese of Southern Virginia will head to Salt Lake City, UT, June 25 - July 3 to take part in the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Over the next few weeks, we'll be giving you some background on General Convention, explain how it works, and introduce our deputation. While we are in Salt Lake City, you can follow the action on our General Convention blog and the diocesan Facebook page.
Electing a new Presiding Bishop
At the 78th General Convention, a new Presiding Bishop will be elected. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman elected to head a national branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is not seeking a second nine-year term in office.
"I believe I can best serve this church by opening the door for other bishops to more freely discern their own vocation to this ministry," Jefferts Schori, said in a statement, "I will continue to engage us in becoming a more fully diverse church, spreading the gospel among all sorts and conditions of people, and wholeheartedly devoted to God's vision of a healed and restored creation."
Previously Bishop of Nevada, Jefferts Shcori is the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. Her term as Presiding Bishop ends at the conclusion of General Convention this summer. She was elected at the 75th General Convention on June 18, 2006, and invested at Washington National Cathedral on November 4, 2006.
More than 165 people representing over 60 dioceses submitted names to the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) during the nomination period last fall. The JNCPB is composed of a lay member, a priest or deacon, and a bishop elected from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church, plus two youth representatives who were appointed by the President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings.
Under church law, presiding bishops must be able to complete a full nine-year term before hitting the mandatory retirement age of 72, limiting candidates to those under age 63 at this year's General Convention. The JNCPB, after a two year discernment process, announced its nominees on May 1, 2015:
The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal, Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio
The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry, Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut h
The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith, Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida
The election process
On Saturday, June 27, members of the House of Bishops with seat, voice, and vote will convene in St. Mark's Cathedral in Salt Lake City, where the election will occur in the context of prayer and reflection. Once an election has taken place, current Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will send a deputation to the House of Deputies for confirmation of the election.
The Rev. Gay Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, will refer the name to the House of Deputies legislative committee on the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop without announcing the name to the full House. The legislative committee will make a recommendation to the House of Deputies whether to confirm the election or not confirm, and the House of Deputies will immediately vote on the recommendation. President Jennings will then appoint a delegation from the House of Deputies to notify the House of Bishops of the action taken.