The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem
Transition Committee

The Process

Bethlehem Bishop Search The Standing Committee Of The Diocese Of Bethlehem
Episcopal Selection Process For The IX Bishop Of The Diocese Of Bethlehem

In matters of public comment about our search and transition process, the Standing Committee, and its spokesperson, will review all communication with the press, the wider church, and our diocese. All questions and/or concerns about our work together shall be directed to the President of the Standing Committee.

The Chairs of the Search/Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee will communicate regularly with one another, with the President of the Standing Committee, and the Diocesan Consultant throughout the process. It is our intent that these processes proceed in a timely fashion and that the work being done is communicated effectively. Once the process gets going we will give regular updates through our diocesan website.


  1. You are asked to listen attentively to the Holy Spirit to help identify the person whom God may be calling to be the IX Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem. On behalf of the people of the Diocese, we are entrusting this responsibility to your careful and prayerful consideration. After identifying our hopes, dreams and fears, you are asked to prayerfully explore the gifts and vision of those who offer themselves to our diocese. And finally, you are to discern which nominees you believe God is calling us to consider as we prepare to elect the IX Bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem.

  2. The initial task of the Search/Nominating Committee is to capture the deep longing, hopes and dreams of the people of the diocese. You are asked to accomplish this task through various means - public meetings, surveys, etc. - in order to facilitate as broad a participation as possible from the clergy and laity in all regions of the diocese. At the conclusion of this process of reflection and discernment you are to produce a profile of the Diocese of Bethlehem which may include such things as where we have been and where we are today after our pilgrimage journey together; our strengths and abilities as well as our growing edges; and our common vision in moving forward in faith to where God is calling us. We also ask that after completion of the profile you review it with the Standing Committee prior to it being communicated to the wider church.

  3. The Standing Committee places no restrictions on applicants other than they must be a priest or bishop who promotes the creedal faith of the Episcopal Church. No candidate may be excluded "because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age." (Canon III.1.2).

  4. The Search Committee is charged to do a thorough vetting of each candidate, including background and reference checks, as well as deep conversations with the candidates, their current and former bishops, and leaders in their current and past congregations or organizations where they served about addiction and impairment, commitment to the Episcopal Church, and personal integrity and behavior.

  5. No serving member of either the Standing Committee or the Search/Nominating Committee may be considered in any part of the process for nomination without first resigning from the committee. A member of either committee whose spouse/partner, sibling, parent or child becomes a candidate must also resign. If the candidate is eliminated from the process, the committee member does not rejoin the committee. If any member resigns from either committee, that person will not be replaced.

  6. The Search/Nominating Committee will be committed to establishing a level playing field for all nominees as they are presented to members of the Diocese of Bethlehem. The Search/Nominating Committee must make known to any candidate for nomination that communications with members of the diocese relevant to the Search, Nominations, and Election process must be restricted to official Search events and communications sponsored by the Search/Nominating Committee and the Transition Committee. Potential nominees are not to engage in lobbying or campaigning at the individual, parish, or regional level. Members of the diocese are discouraged from inviting candidates to be guest preachers or workshop leaders or to otherwise visit the diocese except for official events sponsored by the Search/Nominating, Transitions or Standing committees. The Search/Nominating Committee will discuss the use of technology and social media with all nominees, and establish a clear protocol for communication in consultation with the Standing Committee and Transition Committee. Mutual respect between nominees is desired and expected.

  7. All matters before the Search/Nominating Committee are to be held in the strictest confidence, including names, parishes and dioceses of persons being considered, both during and after the search process.

  8. You are charged to present the names of three to five candidates to the Standing Committee by mid-February 2018.

  9. You are to ensure that all nominees meet the constitutional and canonical requirements set forth by the General Convention of The Episcopal Church as published in the 2015 edition of the Constitution & Canons.

  10. You are to report in writing (email) on the progress of your work to the Standing Committee once a month prior to their meeting.

  11. Members of the Search/Nominating Committee will abstain from signing petitions for any individuals during the petition process.

  12. Members of the Search/Nominating Committee will abstain from expressing their personal opinions regarding any of the candidates on the final slate to any person outside of the committee.

  13. The Search/Nominating Committee shall use the following dates as benchmarks for their work:
    Mid-February, 2018: Names of nominees presented to Standing Committee.
    mid-April, 2018: Conduct walkabouts in the diocese of the nominees.
    April 28, 2018: Special Electing Convention.
    September 15, 2018: Consecration of IX Bishop of Diocese of Bethlehem.

  14. The Search/Nominating Committee will use the Search Consultant (Judith Stark) and Chaplain appointed by the Standing Committee.

  15. We ask that you pay careful attention to the needs of the nominees and their families. The Standing Committee is committed to a process that upholds the dignity of everyone involved.

  16. Finally, please know that you have our full trust and gratitude for this work to which you are committing yourselves on behalf of the Diocese of Bethlehem. The Standing Committee and the people of the diocese will pray daily for you and your work.

Bishop Search
© 2017 The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem, 333 Wyandotte Street / Bethlehem, PA. 18015