The Diocese of Virginia has announced a slate of four nominees for Bishop of Virginia. Nomination by petition closes April 8. The special convention to elect the XIV Bishop of Virginia is June 4.
About the diocese (Wikipedia):
The Diocese of Virginia is the largest diocese of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, encompassing 38 counties in the northern and central parts of the state of Virginia. The diocese was organized in 1785 and is one of the Episcopal Church’s nine original dioceses, with origins in colonial Virginia. As of 2018, the diocese has 16 regions with 68,902 members and 180 congregations.
After the resignation of Bishop Shannon Johnston in 2019, and a failed attempt to name a Bishop Provisional (all candidates withdrew), Bishop Suffragan Susan Goff has been the diocese’s Ecclesiastical Authority.
The diocese’s announcement of the slate follows.
March 28, 2022
Dear Diocesan Family,
After prayer and discernment, the Standing Committee presents the following slate of nominees for the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia (in alphabetical order by last name):
- The Rev. Joseph Hensley Rector, St. George’s, Fredericksburg, VA
- The Rev. Canon Alan James, Interim Canon Missioner, Diocese of Western Michigan
- The Very Rev. Gideon Pollach, Rector, St. John’s Church, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
- The Rev. Canon Mark Stevenson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry within The Episcopal Church
You may find additional information about each nominee at www.virginiabishopsearch.org
We thank the Bishop Search Committee [link to the search committee and transition committee membership here] for their earnest and spiritual work. Embracing the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they faithfully and diligently shepherded the Diocese through the search process. The Search Committee had tremendous diversity of race, gender, sexuality, age, geography, clergy and laity, life experience, theological expression, and outlook. They engaged in the search process with integrity and fulfilled the mandate given by the Standing Committee. The committee prayerfully came to the consensus that every person on the slate would make an excellent XIV Bishop of Virginia. For more than a year, they committed themselves to prayerful discernment, purposeful conversations, and numerous Zoom calls. We are indebted to them for their hard work and dedication.
The Petition Period is now open and will close at midnight on Friday, April 8. The instructions and forms are all available at www.virginiabishopsearch.org. The Standing Committee will announce to the Diocese, after completing a rigorous evaluation process, any qualified petition nominees.
A Special Convention, called by Bishop Goff, will be held on Saturday, June 4th at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria VA. Convention attendance is limited to voting delegates. The event will be live-streamed.
The Transition Committee will hold Meet and Greet sessions around the Diocese May 20-24. Some, if not all, of these Meet and Greets will be live-streamed. The Standing Committee strongly encourages members of the Diocese to submit questions to the Transition Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line “Meet and Greet Questions”. These questions will aid in the development of these sessions.
This can be a stressful and anxious time for the nominees. Please refrain from direct and social media engagement with the nominees themselves. In addition, there should be no special forums or parties for any individual nominee. The appropriate way for the Diocese to learn more about the nominees is through the Meet and Greet sessions in May.
Please keep our Nominees, the Transition Committee, the Standing Committee, and our Diocese in your prayers during this time of discernment. If you have thoughts or questions regarding the slate of nominees, please direct them to the Standing Committee at email@example.com.
A Prayer for the Search for a New Bishop
Almighty God, Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, who calls, guides and empowers us as your Church: Create in us discerning minds as we seek to elect a bishop in this diocese. So many issues are open before us; so many wounds that need healing; so many gifts that need celebrating. Bless and continue the good work begun in your name and open our ears to the hurts and hopes around us; broaden our vision to see what we do not want to see; and enliven our hearts with honesty and compassion to do the hard work that lies before us. Guide us as we seek an inspirational leader and willing advocate to help us meet the challenges and lead us to become the people you have equipped us to be in your service. All this we pray through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen
The Standing Committee [link added]