Canon XVI: Bishop Transition Process

Canon XVI: Bishop Transition Process

Section 1. Committee on the Election of a Bishop

A) Composition

  1. The Committee on the Election of a Bishop shall be composed of six members: three (3) members of the laity, and three (3) members of the Clergy.
  2. Members of the Committee shall serve terms of three (3) years. Each member may serve up to two (2) consecutive terms. The terms of the members of the Committee shall be staggered.
  3. Nominations of self or others for election to the Committee may be made by any communicants of the Diocese or groups associated therewith by submitting the nominee’s name and contact information to the Secretary of Convention no later than four (4) weeks before the Annual Convention.
  4. The Annual Convention shall elect one (1) member of the laity and one (1) member of the Clergy to serve on the Committee annually and shall elect such other members as necessary to maintain a total of six (6) members with staggered terms. When the process for electing a bishop is commenced, elections to the Committee shall be suspended until the first Annual Convention after the consecration of the new bishop. At the first Annual Convention after the consecration of the new bishop, new Committee members will be elected to replace those Committee members whose terms have expired.
  5. The Secretary of Convention and an additional individual designated by the Bishops shall serve as non-voting members of the Committee to provide administrative and procedural support to Committee members and to liaise between the Committee and ECCT staff, the Standing Committee, and the Mission Council. The Secretary of Convention and the Bishops’ designee shall not be members of the Nominating Committee or the Transition Committee but will assist those committees if and as requested by the Committee members.
  6. The two members of the Committee who have served longest on the Committee and are willing and able to serve shall serve as co-chairs of the Committee unless unable or unwilling to serve in that capacity.
  7. Vacancies in the Committee shall be filled until the next election of Committee members by Annual Convention by appointment by the Bishops with advice and consent of the Standing Committee.

B) Role of the Committee Between Episcopal Elections

  1. Study best practices, recommendations, and developments in the processes for episcopal elections and transitions across the Church and make recommendations to the Annual Convention for the revisions of our election processes.
  2. Assist the Mission Council in understanding the costs associated with episcopal elections and the monies that should be set aside in an election sinking fund in each Budget of Convention.
  3. Develop and maintain the following:
    1. Description of job requirements and expectations for members of the Nominating Committee and members of the Transition Committee;
    2. In consultation with transition guidelines published by The Episcopal Church, develop timeline of events and processes that make up the nominating and transition processes;
    3. c. Seek advice and recommendations from prior nominating and transition committees about the process.
  1. Report to the Standing Committee and the Mission Council annually or more frequently as requested or appropriate regarding the Committee’s work.

C) Role of the Committee When an Election is Called

  1. Develop and publicize timeline for nomination and election of the bishop, and for the selection process for committee members from the Regions and the nomination by Standing Committee for election by Mission Council.
  2. Promote opportunities to serve on the Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee, reaching out to under-represented communities to enhance diversity of candidate pools both for the Regions and the Standing Committee.
  3. Assist Regions in enhancing the diversity of those selected to serve on the Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee.
  4. Vet consultants for the nominating process, so as to be ready to offer consultants to the Nominating Committee.
  5. Advise Finance Committee and Mission Counsel in their work developing an interim budget for the episcopal election process.

D) Role of the Committee During the Nomination and Transition Process

  1. Serve as co-chairs of Nominating Committee and Transition Committee. When an episcopal election is called, the Committee shall organize itself into 3 sets of co-chairs: one set of co-chairs for the Nominating Committee; one set of co-chairs for the Transition Committee; and one set of co-chairs with overall supervisory responsibility of both committees.
  2. Schedule and lead meetings of the Nominating Committee and Transition Committee, and joint meetings as appropriate.
  3. Facilitate the Nominating Committee’s selection of a consultant.
  4. Liaise with ECCT staff, departing bishop, remaining bishop(s), Finance Committee, Chancellor.
  5. Oversee public statements regarding the episcopal nomination, election, and transition process.
  6. Assist the Mission Council, and its Finance Committee, in developing the allocation for the election process in the next full Budget of Convention, as well as addressing unexpected financial issues that arise during the episcopal nomination, election, and transition process.

Section 2. When a vacancy in the office of Bishop Diocesan or Bishop Suffragan exists or is anticipated, a notice to the Diocese and to the office of the Presiding Bishop shall be issued by the the President of the Standing Committee and the Bishop Diocesan or, in the absence of the Bishop Diocesan, the Bishop Suffragan. The notice shall:

A) Announce that a vacancy in the office of Bishop Diocesan or Bishop Suffragan exists or is anticipated;

B) Request that the steps required by the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and of ECCT for an episcopal election be undertaken;

C) Call for a Special Convention for an episcopal election or for an episcopal election at a future Annual Convention, upon completion of the steps required by the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church and of ECCT for an episcopal election;

D) Call for the formation of a Nominating Committee and a Transition Committee and setting dates for their selection and/or election as set out by these Canons.

Section 3. The Nominating Committee shall consist of eighteen (18) members who are Adult Communicants in good standing or Members of the Clergy in good standing canonically resident in the Diocese, selected as follows:

A) Six (6) members selected by the Regions, with each Region selecting either one (1) lay person who is a member of a Parish or Worshiping Community in the Region or one (1) clergy person living or working in the Region; the person selected by each Region shall be from a different order than the person selected by that Region to serve on the Transition Committee under Section 4(A) (i.e. if the Region selected a lay person to serve on the Transition Committee, then that Region shall select a clergy person to serve on the Nominating Committee, and vice-versa);

B) Twelve (12) members selected by the Mission Council from a slate of at least sixteen (16) lay or clergy persons nominated by the Standing Committee, giving priority to members of Diocesan Ministry Networks; the resulting group of 12 shall include at least four lay persons and at least four clergy persons.

Section 4. The Transition Committee shall consist of twelve (12) members who are Adult Communicants in good standing or Members of the Clergy in good standing canonically resident in the Diocese, selected as follows:

A) Six (6) members selected by the Regions, with each Region selecting either one (1) lay person who is a member of a Parish or Worshiping Community in the Region or one (1) clergy person living or working in the Region; the person selected by each Region shall be from a different order than the person selected by that Region to serve on the Nominating Committee under Section 3(A) (i.e. if the Region selected a lay person to serve on the Transition Committee, then that Region shall select a clergy person to serve on the Nominating Committee, and vice-versa)

B) Six (6) members selected by the Mission Council from a slate of at least eight (8) lay or clergy persons nominated by the Standing Committee, giving priority to members of Diocesan Ministry Networks; the resulting group of 6 members shall include at least two lay persons and at least two clergy persons.

Section 5. The Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee shall be formed at the same time by the date established in the notice issued in Section 2 above. Although most of the work of the Transition Committee will occur after the work of the Nominating Committee has been completed, the Transition Committee shall participate in joint meetings with the Nomination Committee as the Co-Chairs deem necessary and appropriate. The Transition Committee may include non-members in its work.

Section 6. The Co-Chairs may ask the Standing Committee to nominate one or more new members to serve on the Nominating Committee or the Transition Committee as may be necessary and appropriate to replace committee members who are unable or unwilling to serve, which nominations shall be subject to ratification by the Mission Council.

Section 7. The Mission Council shall propose an interim budget for costs associated with the episcopal transition process until the next Budget of Convention is adopted by the Annual Convention, which shall be ratified by the Standing Committee (“Episcopal Election Budget”).

Section 8. The Nominating Committee shall:

A) Adopt such rules and procedures for its respective operation as it deems prudent;

B) Organize itself into such subcommittees as it may believe necessary and appropriate;

C) Engage such consultants, chaplains, or professionals to assist it in its work as it feels essential;

D) Follow the call of the Holy Spirit in:

  1. Creating a profile of the Diocese;
  2. Identifying suitable candidates, including conducting complete and comprehensive background checks;
  3. Providing particular support and encouragement to minority candidates;
  4. Affording the Bishop Diocesan the opportunity to interview candidates for Bishop Suffragan and consulting with the Bishop Diocesan before selecting nominees from among the candidates for Bishop Suffragan;
  5. Choosing nominees (“Committee Nominees”) from among the candidates;
  6. Facilitating opportunities for the Diocese to learn about and to meet the Committee Nominees and any Petition Nominees (as described below), and for all of those nominees to learn about and to meet members of the Diocese;

E) Take full advantage of existing administrative and professional resources of the Diocese, including accounts payable, legal counsel, communications, human resources, and other capacities existing within the Diocese, to avoid unnecessary expense in the transition process and to complete its work within the Episcopal Election Budget, to the extent possible, without creating a conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest.

Section 8. The Transition Committee shall:

A) Adopt such rules and procedures for its respective operation as it deems prudent;

B) Organize itself into such subcommittees as it may believe necessary and appropriate;

C) Engage such consultants, chaplains, or professionals to assist it in its work as it feels essential;

D) Follow the call of the Holy Spirit in:

  1. Providing emotional and spiritual support to the current bishop or bishops, the candidates, the Committee Nominees, the Petition Nominees, if any, the Bishop-Elect, their respective families, and Diocesan staff;
  2. Assisting with the consecration or installation of the Bishop-Elect; and
  3. Assisting with the transition between bishops.

E) Take full advantage of existing administrative and professional resources of the Diocese, including accounts payable, legal counsel, communications, human resources, and other capacities existing within the Diocese, to avoid unnecessary expense in the transition process and to complete its work within the Episcopal Election Budget, to the extent possible, without creating a conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict of interest.

Section 9. When ready, the Nominating Committee shall announce the Committee Nominees to the public in a manner reasonably calculated to inform both the Diocese and The Episcopal Church of their identities. When the Nominating Committee issues this notice, it shall also provide the notice to the Secretary of the Diocese.

Section 10. After the Nominating Committee notifies the Secretary of the Diocese of the identities of the Committee Nominees, additional candidates (“Petition Candidates”) may be proposed by petition as follows:

A) A Petition Candidate must be proposed in writing, using a form made available by the BTC, signed by not less than ten (10) clergy delegates to the next Annual Convention resident in at least four (4) different Regions, and by not less than ten (10) lay delegates to the next Annual Convention resident in at least four (4) different Regions;

B) No delegate may propose more than one Petition Candidate;

C) Each proposal of a Petition Candidate shall include a written consent to the proposal signed by the Candidate;

D) Proposals of Petition Candidates will be accepted by the Secretary of the Diocese for a period of ten (10) calendar days after the Nominating Committee notifies the Secretary of the Diocese of the identities of the Committee Nominees;

E) The Nominating Committee shall conduct the same background checks of each Petition Candidate as it conducted of the Committee Nominees;

F) If the Nominating Committee concludes that one or more of the Petition Candidates satisfies the canonical requirements for election and satisfied the background checks applied to all Committee Nominees, the Nominating Committee shall inform the Secretary of the Diocese that those Petition Candidates are “Petition Nominees.”

Section 11. At the conclusion of the period for submission of Petition Candidates, if no proposals of Petition Candidates have been submitted to the Secretary of the Diocese, or at the conclusion of the screening process required with respect to each Petition Candidate, and in all cases in a time sufficient to allow for the orderly introduction of Committee Nominees and any Petition Nominees to the Diocese, the Nominating Committee shall submit the Committee Nominees and the Petition Nominees, if any, to the Secretary of Convention as the final slate of nominees for election.

Section 12. The Election Convention shall proceed in accordance with rules of order adopted at the Convention, provided:

A) The Ecclesiastical Authority or its delegate shall preside over the Convention;

B) Nominations for election to the office of bishop may not be made from the floor;

C) Nominations for election may be withdrawn only by the nominee;

D) Nominations speeches will not be in permitted.

Section 13. Role of the Standing Committee and the Mission Council in the Episcopal Nomination, Election, and Transition Process.

A) The role of the Standing Committee shall be to:

  1. Issue the notice to the Diocese and the Presiding Bishop as set forth in this Canon;
  2. Nominate candidates for election to the Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee by the Mission Council as set forth in this Canon;
  3. Nominate replacement members for either the Nominating Committee or the Transition Committee as requested by the Co-Chairs of the Committee on the Election of a Bishop;
  4. Ratify the interim Episcopal Election Budget;
  5. Issue such notices as required by the Canons of The Episcopal Church.

B) The role of the Mission Council shall be to:

  1. Elect members of the Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee from candidates nominated by the Standing Committee;
  2. Ratify the appointment of replacement members for either committee as nominated by the Standing Committee per the request of the Co-Chairs of the Committee on the Election of a Bishop;
  3. Develop and propose an interim Episcopal Election Budget for consideration by the Standing Committee.