The Bishop Search Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York has opened its application process for its 11th bishop, according to a Nov. 3 news release.
The profile and nomination and application forms are available here. The deadline for completed applications is Dec. 31, 2009.
The profile identifies a sense of balance as key to the character of the next bishop of Western New York: balance between being an administrator and pastor, a person of prayer and a community leader, a good listener and a bold speaker.
"While we are looking for a person whose leadership is grounded in a deep relationship with God in Christ, we are also looking for someone who will laugh with us, who will find joy in our presence, who will be so awed by the mysteriously surprising work of God in and among us that s/he will remind us not to take ourselves too seriously, and who is so passionately committed to building up the Body of Christ in this place that s/he will take risks with grace and faith," the profile states.
What a diocesan news release calls the "central image of the profile" is that of a bishop walking a tightrope across Niagara Falls, a balancing pole in hand. This image conveys both humor and awe at the challenges facing us and the abundance of grace that sustains the release said.
That figure, according to the profile, "is a humble visionary, a realistic optimist, artist and prophet, bold and cautious, someone who can see in one glance the awesome grandeur of God's creation and the small, fragile spot where we stand. But that figure does not walk alone. We have made the promise to walk with our bishop along the path that God has called us to share."
The Diocese of Western New York comprises 62 rural and urban congregations, ranging in size from an average Sunday attendance of under 20 to an average Sunday attendance of about 200. The region encompasses roughly 5,423 square miles bounded on the north by Lake Ontario, on the west by Lake Erie, on the south by Pennsylvania, and on the east by the Diocese of Rochester. Every congregation is within a 90-minute drive of Buffalo, the see city.