Greetings Family of Christ,
I am writing to you on behalf of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of California. The canons (rules) of the church dictate that, in the event of the resignation of a bishop, the call to elect a new bishop is issued by the Standing Committee (Article XII, section 12.2). It is in our capacity as leaders of the search process that we are writing to you today.
As we begin to look toward the future of the diocese, it is important to acknowledge its past and present. To that end, we wish to thank Bishop Marc for his 16 faithful years of service to the Diocese of California. Throughout his tenure, Bishop Marc and his family have demonstrated a firm commitment to the health and well-being of the diocese, The Episcopal Church, and God’s creation. We are grateful for his diligence, compassion, and witness. His stewardship will ensure that we will have many candidates who feel called to lead our diocese.
We would also like to provide you with information regarding the nature and structure of the search and transition process for the ninth bishop of California. The Standing Committee has been aware of Bishop Marc’s planned resignation and subsequent retirement for some time. He has graciously conferred with us about his planned retirement and we, in turn, have worked with him to establish a search and transition timeline that will provide the best opportunity for a healthy, smooth, and stable process. The current timeline is as follows:
1. Fall, 2021: Bishop Marc consults with the President of the Standing Committee about his resignation/retirement plans
2. April 7, 2022: Bishop Marc informs the Standing Committee of his resignation/retirement plans
3. July 22, 2022: Bishop Marc announces his resignation/retirement to the people of the Diocese of California
4. October 29, 2022: The members of the Search and Transition Committee are named; Search and Transition process begins
5. December 9, 2023: Convention to elect a Bishop Coadjutor to succeed Bishop Marc as the 9th Bishop of California
6. May 4, 2024: Consecration of the Bishop Coadjutor to succeed Bishop Marc as the 9th Bishop of California
7. July 24, 2024: Bishop Marc retires; the Bishop Coadjutor becomes 9th Bishop of California
Please bear in mind that the timeline is a work in progress. Other important milestones will be added in consultation with the Search and Transition Committee.
You may be wondering why the Search and Transition process seems long. The timeline we have established is based on several factors:
- The average length of recent searches in other dioceses
- Canonically defined time frames (such as the need to have consent to the election
- The Presiding Bishop’s availability to consecrate the new bishop
Most importantly, in order to achieve the best outcome, it is imperative that we allow ourselves the necessary time to gather and consider the concerns and counsel of the people of the Diocese of California. This information will be critical in the selection of the 9th Bishop of California.
The Standing Committee is pleased to announce that the Search and Transition process has its own website, which is also linked to our diocesan website. As the Search and Transition process evolves, the website will be updated with new information, including changes/additions to the timeline. Our immediate goals are:
- Complete the selection and announce the names of the co- chairs of the Search and Transition Committee as soon as possible.
- Complete the selection of the entire Search and Transition Committee
- Introduce the entire Committee at the annual Diocesan Convention at the end of October
The search will be a transparent and comprehensive process conducted within the bounds of the confidentiality required by The Episcopal Church. Our desire is to hear and respond to your questions and input at all stages. You can contact us at [email protected] or through the diocesan or search websites.
The most important thing you can do to assist with the process is to pray. We are asking DioCal congregations to add the following Prayer for Transition to your regular liturgies:
Almighty God, giver of every good gift, by your grace you have called us into one fellowship of faith: Look graciously on the people of the Diocese of California during this time of transition. May we be guided in heart and mind by your Holy Spirit to seek and welcome a faithful pastor who will care for your people and equip us to perform the work of the Church. Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us do. Save us from all false choices, that in your light we may see light, and on your path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
The Standing Committee is committed to a fruitful search and transition process. We enter this stage of our lives together with gratitude and hope.
The Rev. Deborah White, MSW, MDiv, Ph.D.
President, Standing Committee, Diocese of California
on behalf of its members:
Ms. Noreen Huey, Vice-President
The Rev. Todd Bryant, Secretary
Ms. Robyn Amos
The Venerable Reverend Carolyn Bolton
Mr. Sean McConnell
The Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson
Mr. Warren Wong