[Episcopal News Service] The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop May 1 announced the names of the bishops it will nominate this summer to succeed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.
The four names will be formally submitted to the General Convention during a joint session on June 26, the day prior to the day set for the election by the House of Bishops of the 27th presiding bishop. The nominees are:
- The Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, 64, Diocese of Southern Ohio
- The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, 62, Diocese of North Carolina
- The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, 56, Diocese of Connecticut
- The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, 61, Diocese of Southwest Florida
Breidenthal was dean of religious life and of the chapel at Princeton University in New Jersey when he was elected on Nov. 11, 2006, to be the ninth bishop of Southern Ohio. He was ordained and consecrated April 28, 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from Portland State University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, in 1977, a Master of Divinity degree in 1981 from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from Oxford University in 1991.
Curry was the rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland, when he was elected on February 11, 2000, to be the 11th bishop of North Carolina. He was ordained and consecrated on June 17, 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from Hobart and William Smith College, in Geneva, New York, and a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.
Douglas was the Angus Dun Professor of Mission and World Christianity at Episcopal Divinity School when he was elected on Oct. 24, 2009, to be the 15th bishop of Connecticut. He was ordained and consecrated on April 17, 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 from Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, and a Masters of Education in counseling and consulting psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1982. Douglas earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1983. In 1993, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in religious studies from Boston University.
Smith was rector of Trinity Church, New Orleans, Louisiana, when he was elected on Dec. 9, 2006, to be the fifth bishop of Southwest Florida. He was ordained and consecrated on Sept. 15, 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting production from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1980, a Master of Divinity in 1987 from Nashotah House and a Doctor of Ministry from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary with special focus on congregational development in 1999.
The announcement of the nominees now opens a 12-day process to be followed by any bishop or deputy who wants to nominate from the floor a bishop not on the committee’s slate. The committee recently outlined the process that must be followed before any additional bishop may be nominated in that manner.
Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings recently wrote to their houses with information about the bishops’ election and deputies’ confirmation process that will be followed at convention. That information is here.
All of the nominees will be given the opportunity to address both houses of General Convention the afternoon of June 24. Their names will be formally submitted to the General Convention during a joint session of the two houses on June 26. Nominations from the floor, done according to the committee’s process, will happen during that session as well.
Bishops will gather at the Convention Eucharist at 9:30 a.m. on June 27 in the Salt Palace Convention Center. Following that, the bishops with seat, voice, and vote will board buses to travel to St. Mark’s Cathedral, where the election will take place in the context of prayer and reflection.
Once the election has taken place, Jefferts Schori will send a delegation to Jennings to inform her of the name of the bishop who has been elected. Jennings will refer the name to the House of Deputies legislative committee on the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop without announcing the name to the full House. The legislative committee will make a recommendation to the House of Deputies whether to confirm the election or not confirm, and the House of Deputies will immediately vote on the recommendation. Jennings will then appoint a delegation of deputies to notify the House of Bishops of the action taken.
“No communication is permitted from the House of Bishops during the election and until confirmation is received. I know this will be a challenge, but ask your cooperation and faithfulness to our mutual life and accountability,” Jefferts Schori said in her letter to the bishops.
The presiding bishop-elect will preach at the convention’s closing Eucharist on July 3, and Jefferts Schori will preside. The presiding bishop-elect’s nine-year term officially begins Nov. 1, 2015.
The presiding bishop is primate and chief pastor of the church, chair of the Executive Council, and president of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.
The 78th General Convention meets June 25 – July 3, in Salt Lake City, Utah.