July 21, 2020
Dear Leaders in the diocese:
The search for a new bishop is a momentous event in the life of the Church. Calling a new bishop shapes not only the future of our diocese but the Church as well. The process to call a new bishop is complex and consists of much more than simply reading resumes for a list of desired qualities or accomplishments. The search for a new bishop must be a matter of prayerful discernment, for, in a spiritual sense, new bishops are revealed, not chosen. While calling a new bishop can be a stressful time in the life of a diocese, it can also be a blessed time of deep missional and vocational discernment, a season to renew and strengthen our common bonds, and an opportunity to celebrate what we have done together as a diocese, while discerning what we will do next.
With the announcement of the resignation of The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, the Eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, effective December 31, 2021, the Standing Committee has begun the process of asking the question, “Whom is God revealing our next bishop to be?” The Standing Committee has begun the canonical steps necessary for the practical work of discernment to begin. We have established a procedure and approved a timeline for the discernment process which will result in the consecration of the Ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina on February 26, 2022.
A critical step in this process is to form a Nominating Committee that is representative of our diocese and that is committed to balancing the canonical and practical requirements of the work to be done with the spiritual work to be done. On Saturday, July 18, the Standing Committee approved a Nominating Committee member profile and an application to serve on the Nominating Committee. You can view the approved profile and the application by clicking on the following link: www.edusc.org/bishopsearch/.
We hope that you will take a leading role in encouraging others to apply to serve. The deadline for receiving applications is August 21, 2020, so time is of the essence. Once the deadline for receiving applications has passed, the Standing Committee will form the Nominating Committee from the applications received.
Thank you for your willingness to work with the Standing Committee as we discern together whom God is calling to be the Ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina.
The Rev. Stephen J. Rhoades
President of the Standing Committee
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