November 30, 2021
We write to bring you up-to-date on two important pieces of progress on the search for the 12th Bishop of Ohio.
1. The Search Committee for the 12th Bishop of Ohio will begin its work with a retreat at Bellwether Farm on December 10-11. Their initial focus will include:
a. Finalizing the diocesan profile, readying it for publication to the wider church.
i. We are partnering with Presiding Bishop Curry’s office to try a new bishop search process. As part of that new process, the Standing Committee wrote a draft profile, which the Search Committee will edit (using feedback received from the diocese) and then publish before the listening sessions.
b. Holding virtual listening sessions across the diocese to ensure all voices have the opportunity to be heard.
i. This information will be used to share more detailed information with applicants and guide the interview process and final selection of nominees.
c. Developing a communications plan to keep you well informed.
i. In partnership with Jessica Rocha, the Diocesan Communications Director, the Search Committee will develop a plan to keep the diocese well informed about the search, the petition process, the election, and ultimately the consecration of our new bishop.
2. A tentative timeline for the search process is:
a. January: Finalize and publish profile. The Search Committee will host listening sessions.
b. The nomination process will be announced in January. Nominations for bishop candidates will be received for six weeks.
c. Early spring: The Standing Committee will solicit applications for the Transition Committee which will begin work once the slate is announced in August. The Transition Committee’s roles include coordinating the “Meet and Greets” for the nominees and planning the consecration of the new bishop.
d. Spring/early summer: The Search Committee narrows the candidate field to those who will be invited to the discernment retreat.
e. Early August: The Search Committee hosts a discernment retreat for the finalists and agrees on a set of 3-5 nominees to present to the Standing Committee.
f. Mid-August: The slate of nominees is announced. The petition process for adding nominees and timeline are announced. We anticipate that the full slate of candidates will be announced by September 1, 2022.
g. Late October: “Meet and Greets” will provide opportunities for members of the diocese to hear from all of the nominees.
h. November 18-19, 2022: Electing Convention for the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Ohio.
The timeline may change as we move through the process. In the event segments of the process take more or less time than anticipated, adjustments will be made. The Bishop and the Standing Committee have established a goal of an electing convention next November; however, should the Search Committee determine that more time is required, the election could be delayed with approval by the Standing Committee. We have every expectation that we will adhere to the timeline but we will hold it loosely because our goal is not to make a deadline but to listen to the Holy Spirit in order to find the bishop that is the best fit for the Diocese of Ohio.
Throughout the search process, you can expect to hear from either the Standing Committee or the Search Committee monthly. We ask that you keep the Search and Standing Committees in your prayers as we keep you, the Diocese, in ours.
Dianne Audrick Smith
The Rev. Debra Bennett
The Rev. Alex Martin
The Rev. Brian Wilbert
Jenna Bing, Secretary
The Rev. Charlotte Collins Reed, President