The process of finding your next bishop, in the Episcopal Church, is not a quick or simple one. I accepted the appointment as vice chair of the Search & Nomination committee sometime in January 2011. After members of our committee and an Election & Nomination committee were elected and appointed, we first gathered for a retreat in April--exactly 11 months ago. We announced the 3 nominees on March 15th of this year.
I won't go through all the stages of surveying, talking, listening, profiling, filming, writing, travelling, praying, and wondering that led us to yesterday's election. I will say it has been a joyous, intense, emotionally powerful, and thoroughly spiritual process. If you care to know more, you can do an internet news search for "bishop" and "New Hampshire."
Yesterday was filled with special moments, for me and for our diocese. The ones I most treasure:
--Seeing friends from every corner of our diocese among the more than two hundred fifty delegates and observers and staffers who were present.
--During our service of Holy Communion, which wrapped around the election, reading the Prayers of the People from the lectern. My own congregation happened, by sheer coincidence, to come up in our Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, and was named.
--Standing before the electors with the chair of our Search committee (who happens to be former rector of our parish) and I officially and formally placed the 3 priests' names in nomination.
--Placing my ballot in the historic wooden ballot box.
--Singing hymns while ballot counting took place in a secret location.
--Learning that we had elected our future Tenth Bishop on the first and only ballot, then escatictally singing the Doxology when he rang in via mobile phone.
--Hearing his brief address to the convention
--Taking communion with my husband and my many happy friends from all over New Hampshire.
To see the full gallery of images from our big day, visit DFDPhotography, website of the person responsible for the photo posted above.
To some extent I will be involved in upcoming phases of transition. But for now I'm happy to have a restful period of knowing that the lengthy and involving task is completed. As you might expect, I have come to the cottage on the Big Lake to revel in my new sense of leisure. And as you also might expect, I come with materials for a book to be written, and more than a few books to be read.
It's the first day for the Big White Boat to cruise up and down our Bay. Glad I was here to see its maiden voyage!