Presiding bishop, predecessor, share insights with nominating panel

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

As it continues its work toward presenting at least three nominees to become the Episcopal Church’s next presiding bishop, the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop held conversations with the current presiding bishop and his predecessor during a recent meeting.

Committee members also began efforts to assess the group’s intercultural competency and recognize—and compensate for—internal biases as the nomination process moves forward, according to the church’s public affairs office.

The committee met with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in person Oct. 27 at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum Heights, Md. He shared his experience of the discernment and nominations processes that led to his election by General Convention in 2015 as the church’s 27th presiding bishop. The following morning, 26th Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori met with the committee via Zoom.

“We are grateful for both Presiding Bishop Michael’s and Bishop Katharine’s willingness to talk with us about their discernment processes and then how they each lived out their ministries as our church’s presiding bishops,” said Diocese of Alaska Bishop Mark Lattime, who co-chairs the committee with Canon Steve Nishibayashi of the Diocese of Los Angeles. “Their frank insights will be invaluable to us as we go deeper into our work of nominating bishops to stand for election as the 28th presiding bishop.”

The nominating committee plans to release the profile for the next presiding bishop in the spring of 2023 and expects to have received names of possible nominees by late summer. The committee is charged with presenting at least three nominees. The election will take place during the 81st General Convention in Louisville, Ky., in the summer of 2024. The House of Bishops elects one of the nominees, and the House of Deputies is asked to confirm that election. If confirmed, the presiding bishop-elect takes office on Nov. 1 of that year.

Also during the meeting, the Rev. Bill Cruse, the Rev. Rondesia Jarrett-Schell, and the Rev. Peter Jarrett-Schell, of the Los Angeles-based Kaleidoscope Institute, worked with the committee to help deepen its intercultural self-awareness competency. The work was designed to support the committee’s ability to function effectively and inclusively.

“The folks from Kaleidoscope guided us to new insights about ourselves and the work before us,” Nishibayashi said. “We learned how our differing communications styles, which are often influenced by our cultures, can help and hinder our cohesiveness. We also learned what other work we need to do to ensure our openness in the next steps of writing a profile, soliciting applicants, and discerning nominations.”

Lattime agreed, adding that “through this training we aim to become aware of our own biases. The goal of the committee is to ensure transparency and to find ways to be more objective and equitable during this very important process.”

Committee members are continuing to meet virtually in subcommittees and will gather in person again Jan. 11-13 in Los Angeles. View the committee roster.

For more information, contact the committee at pb28@episcopalchurch.org. Follow the committee on the following social media sites:

See past press releases about the committee’s work.

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