STANDING COMMITTEE RESOLUTION SETTING FORTH THE PETITION PROCESS FOR THE ELECTION OF THE ELEVENTH BISHOP DIOCESAN
The following Resolution is based upon and modified from similar resolutions adopted in the Diocese of Easton, the Diocese of Western North Carolina, the Diocese of South Dakota, and the Diocese of Newark.
RESOLVED, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Southern Virginia establishes and adopts the following Petition Process for the election of the XI Bishop Diocesan in this Diocese:
PURPOSE OF THE PETITION PROCESS
“Speak, lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10.
The Canons of the Episcopal Church provide for an election process in which laity and clergy join with the Holy Spirit to raise up new episcopal leadership. No one person or group knows whom God will use, the people consenting, to lead this Diocese. Rather, the invitation to leadership is a process of discerning a call.
The principal method for calling candidates for election in this Diocese is the discernment work carried out by the Nominating/Search Committee. This Committee, comprised of a diverse group of lay persons and clergy, has been appointed to carry out the important task of forming a slate of candidates for election to serve as Bishop Diocesan.
The Petition Process, by contrast, is intended to address the narrow circumstance when a person called to candidacy has not been vetted in the Nominating/Search Committee process or was not identified by the Nominating/Search Committee as one of the final candidates. There could be several reasons why a candidate did not become a discerned or final candidate but, instead, has a call through the Petition Process. We trust, though, that the Nominating/Search Committee process will be the primary process through which most of the candidates participating in the election will be brought forward and ultimately selected as finalists.
The Petition Process is an opportunity for candidates to be “nominated from the floor,” providing enough time to have each nominee go through personal background checks as required by the diocese and Episcopal Church. The various requirements of this search do not allow for the former practice of nomination from the floor during the actual electing convention to be permitted.
WHO CAN BE NOMINATED BY THE PETITION PROCESS?
All Bishops and Priests in good standing within the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (The Episcopal Church), can be nominated by this Petition Process.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PETITION PROCESS CANDIDATES
The Standing Committee has developed the forms and established the requirements for the Petition Process in this Diocese. A copy of the Petition Nomination, Petition Application and Consent form are attached.
The slate of candidates identified by the Nominating/Search Committee for the position of Bishop of the Diocese will be announced by the Standing Committee on the Diocesan website no sooner than June 21, 2019. The Petition Period will commence on June 21, 2019 and remain open for fourteen (14) days, closing at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 5, 2019.
Petitions must be supported by eight (8) nominators: four (4) clergy canonically resident in the Diocese of Southern Virginia (active clergy or retired clergy serving a parish as interim, priest-in-charge, or regular supply) and four (4) lay communicants in good standing in the Diocese of Southern Virginia, for a total of eight (8) required signatures. Nominators must represent at least four (4) different Convocations within the Diocese. No nominee or nominator may be a member of the Standing Committee, the Nominating/Search Committee, or the Transition Committee.
In order for a Petition candidate to be accepted by the Standing Committee, the candidate must submit the same information required of candidates discerned through the nominating process and consent to nomination in writing. These materials will be used to supplement background checks and to develop published information for candidates on the ballot. The following must be submitted electronically at the time the Petition is submitted:
- Completed Petition Nomination forms from all 8 nominators
- Completed Application Form, including responses to the essay questions, from the Nominee
- Completed Consent to Nomination Form from the Nominee
- A cover letter outlining why you believe yourself to be called through the Petition Process into discernment (max 250 words)
- A current resume or CV
- Three (3) letters of recommendation (minimum of 1 from clergy and 1 from a lay communicant)
- An updated OTM profile
- A current color photograph suitable for publication (head and shoulders)
- An autobiographical statement for publication (max. 500 words)
The foregoing forms and requirements must be received electronically at email@example.com no later than 5:00 PM July 5, 2019. If any of these documents are received after 5:00 PM EDT on July 5, 2019, the nomination will be void and rejected by the Standing Committee.
Expectations of Petition Candidate
Persons nominated by Petition must successfully complete the same background check and psychological evaluation required of Nominating/Search Committee candidates. The names of persons nominated by Petition will remain confidential until the individual’s candidacy is approved by the Standing Committee. Petition candidates will be asked to respond to additional questions that will be published along with the responses to the same questions from the candidates raised up by the Nominating/Search Committee. Petition candidates will be introduced to the diocese in the same way as the other candidates, using the Diocesan website. All candidates will participate in the pre-election processes, including the “walkabouts” arranged by the Transition Committee.
Adopted by the Standing Committee on June 6, 2019.
Mrs. Marty Easton
The Very Rev. Susan Grimm, President
The Rev. Cameron Randle
Mr. John Rector
The Very Rev. Stan Sawyer
Mrs. Helen Sharpe-Williams