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Timeline announced for Episcopal Church Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries

June 9, 2009

The timeline and deadlines for the search for the Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries for The Episcopal Church has been announced by the special committee and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Also announced are the members of a discernment committee.

The timeline includes a call for candidates, interviews and other necessary steps.

The successful candidate will be the Sixth Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries. Areas of responsibility for the Bishop Suffragan include the pastoral care and oversight for armed forces chaplains, military personnel and families, federal hospitals and prisons, and the Eucharist communities related to military installations.

The election will be held at the March 2010 House of Bishops meeting in Camp Allen, Texas. Consecration has been slated for June 2010 at National Cathedral in Washington, DC with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori celebrating the Eucharist.

Chaired by Bishop Nathan Baxter of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, the special committee is comprised of bishops appointed by the Presiding Bishop to function just as a standing committee would function within a Diocesan process. The members of the special committee are: Bishop Suffragan Laura Ahrens of Connecticut; Bishop David Alvarez of Puerto Rico; Bishop John Chane of Washington (DC); Bishop Suffragan Rayford High of Texas; Bishop Barry Howe of West Missouri; and Bishop Greg Rickel of Olympia. Consultant is the Rev. Conrad Selnick of Ohio.

A discernment committee made up of clergy and laity represents from chaplaincies in military branches and hospitals as well as Eucharist communities has been named. Members are listed here:

The current Bishop Suffragan, the Rt. Rev. George Packard, has announced his retirement.

Timeline and deadlines

The first step in the process was the creation of an online survey to be completed by all involved in the federal ministries. This survey will be on line for the next month. The results of the survey will be used in July to contribute to the preparation of the profile, which will detail the many aspects of the position.

The discernment committee will meet in early July to nominate persons to serve on the nominating committee and to approve a first draft of the profile.

The special committee will meet during General Convention in July 2009 in Anaheim California to name the members of the nominating committee and to approve the final version of the profile.

The profile will be released in August and will be posted on the website for the election:

The Call for Nominations form will be posted on the website on September 1; closing date to submit a nomination for this position is September 29.

At that point, the work of the special committee will conclude, and the nominating committee assumes the tasks. The members of the nominating committee will be announced in August.

Throughout October – December, the nominating committee will screen and interview potential candidates.

The list of nominees will be announced in January 2010. Nominees by petition will be accepted February 8 to 12.

The nominees will meet with the bishops at the March 2010 House of Bishops (HOB) meeting at Camp Allen, TX. The election will be held during the HOB meeting. Following that, the consent process will begin. Consecration will be June 2010.

For more info contact Baxter at or Bishop Clay Matthews at

The Episcopal Church, with 110 dioceses in 16 nations, is a member province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.

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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer