Online election underway for committee to nominate presiding bishop candidates

Posted By on Jul 1, 2021 |

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the results of the fourth ballot.

[Episcopal News Service] An election is underway for the members of the committee that will select the nominees for The Episcopal Church’s next presiding bishop.

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop is made up of five lay leaders and five clergy leaders elected by the House of Deputies and five bishops elected by the House of Bishops. The committee’s members typically are elected in person at the meeting of General Convention scheduled three years before the new presiding bishop is to be elected, but because the 80th General Convention was postponed a year to 2022, this committee election is being held online.

Bishops and deputies were invited to begin voting at 8 a.m. EDT June 8, with the first ballot closing after 24 hours. The result of the first ballot were announced June 9 on the General Convention Office’s results page.

All five bishop seats were filled on the first ballot. The five elected to the committee are Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Atlanta Bishop Rob Wright, Alaska Bishop Mark Lattime, Central Pennsylvania Bishop Audrey Scanlan and West Tennessee Bishop Phoebe Roaf.

By the close of the fourth ballot on June 30, five of the 10 deputy seats had been filled. They are Deborah Hines, Steven Nishibayashi and the Revs. Deborah Jackson, Antonio Gallardo and Mary Frances Schjonberg. For each subsequent ballot, the nominees with the fewest votes will be dropped. The fifth ballot opens July 6.

The full slate of candidates for the committee can be found here.

“Although this process may seem complicated, it was adopted to accommodate the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves,” General Convention Secretary the Rev. Michael Barlowe said in a message to bishops and deputies, who “are spread across multiple time zones, and have varying access to the internet. This process is intended to promote fair access to voting for everyone, and to maximize participation. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the church’s 27th presiding bishop, will complete his third triennium in 2024, with his successor to be elected at the 81st General Convention, scheduled for July 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.