Mississippi diocese announces 5 nominees for bishop

March 3, 2014

[Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi] The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Mississippi announced its slate of nominees for election as bishop coadjutor to become the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Mississippi. The announcement was made on Saturday, March 1.

The nominees are:

  • the Very Rev. Michael J. Battle, vicar, St. Titus Episcopal Church, Durham, North Carolina;
  • the Rev. Marian Dulaney Fortner, rector, Trinity Episcopal Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi;
  • the Rev. Dr. R. Stan Runnels, rector, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and Day School, Kansas City, Missouri;
  • the Very Rev. Brian R. Seage, rector, St. Columb’s Episcopal Church, Ridgeland, Mississippi; and
  • the Rev. Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, rector, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Denver, Colorado.

A petition process for submitting additional names opens on March 3 and will close on March 7, 5 p.m. CST.  Complete information about the petition process and the petition form are available on the diocesan website.

The slate is the result of a 10-month discernment process conducted by the Nominating Committee, made up of lay and clergy members representing all convocations of the diocese. The Nominating Committee was established and charged by the Standing Committee. With the announcement of the slate, a Transition Committee, also reporting to the Standing Committee and comprising lay and clergy members from across the diocese, implements the next stages of the election process.

The nominees will be in Mississippi, April 7-11 and will be introduced at three open question-and-answer sessions. The sessions will be held at Coast Episcopal School, Long Beach on April 8; St. Andrew’s School, Ridgeland on April 9; and All Saints Church, Grenada on April 10.  While in Mississippi, the nominees will visit the John M. Allin Diocesan House, St. Andrew’s Cathedral, the Duncan M. Gray Camp and Conference Center and various ministries of the diocese.

The election will take place on Saturday, May 3 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson.  All canonically resident clergy of the diocese and lay delegates vote separately as “orders”; a majority of votes on the same ballot from both the clergy and lay orders is required for election.

Pending consent from a majority of the Episcopal Church’s diocesan bishops and a majority of dioceses (via their Standing Committees), the consecration and ordination of the bishop-elect is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Sept. 27 at the Jackson Convention Complex in Jackson, with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding.

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