Nominees for Presiding Bishop Announced

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The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has announced their nominees for the 27th Presiding Bishop.

They are:

Thomas Breidenthal SOUTHERN OHIO
Michael Curry NORTH CAROLINA
Ian Douglas CONNECTICUT
Dabney Smith SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

PDF is of Nominating Booklet is here

More news to follow.

UPDATE: From Office of Public Affairs

The 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church will be elected on Saturday, June 27 during The Episcopal Church’s 78th General Convention which will be held June 25 – July 3 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah).

Breidenthal2.120747
The Rt. Rev. Thomas E. Breidenthal

 

 

 

Curry.104525
The Rt Rev. Michael B. Curry

 

 

Douglas.104645
The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas

 

 

Smith-2.122332
The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith

Posted by Andrew Gerns

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66 Responses to "Nominees for Presiding Bishop Announced"
    • OK, I'll oblige: I honestly expect there to be at least 1 female *nominee* EVERY time here on out. Is that too much to ask?

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      • Yes, there should always be a woman on the list. But there also need to be more female diocesans.

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      • Yes, without female bishops you cannot have a female on the slate: we need more female bishops for the nominating committee to consider. (We also, by the way, need greater diversity on many diocesan staffs.)

        As it happens, at least one female diocesan declined to stand.

        Technically, our current PB could have been on the slate, but she too declined to stand. Also, any bishop (not just diocesans) can be nominees. Likewise, there's misinformation out there about tenure -- you can be in your present position less than five years and move into the position of PB. I don't know whether this nominating committee broke from the tradition of diocesans with 5 years tenure.

        Bit of trivia: The current Archbishop of Canterbury was on Bishop of Durham only a short time.

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  1. I am suprised that +Tom allowed himself to be nominatied. I do think that he would make a good Presiding Bishop- he is a liberal who can work with conservatives, and his theology is by no means radical. But he's said in the past that he has no interest in being Presiding Bishop. I guess he changed his mind.

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  2. Hmm, nothing west of, um, Ohio. I guess east coast bias isn't just a sports thing.

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    • The present Presiding Bishop came from Utah - a bit west of the Mississippi. Three of the Nominees come from Southern Dioceses. Connecticut is the southernmost New England Diocese but definitely not of the South. On the East Coast the North differs greatly from the South, possibly more so than the Atlantic/Gulf Coast differs from the Pacific West Coast. Now, how to sort out the Great Lakes, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and points West, but not including the Pacific Coast? Perhaps all sorting is not necessary or possible, given that we are Episcopalians and in my experience tend to move about quite a lot. [Just a quasi-geographical comment with no serious agenda intended.]

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      • I believe the current PB was bishop of Nevada, not Utah. She also has ties to Oregon. Whatever happens, we here in Utah are very excited to have all of you with us for a very unique and wonderful time when there will be more Episcopalians in our state than ever before!

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      • The present PB was Bishop of Nevada, neighbor to Utah, similar in some ways but very different in some important ways. Before that, she was from Oregon and worked in (Pacific Ocean) marine biology before she became a priest. Certainly she is from the West and has a Western sensibility, not to mention a pilot license 🙂

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  3. Concerned about +Smith's lack of prophetic voice on marriage equality in the church in SWFL. Prayers for all of the candidates.

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    • Actually I think that Bishop Smith is the one with a "prophetic voice" regarding same sex blessings. If you read the OT Prophets, they were not so much concerned with teaching "new" truths, but with calling the people back to the Covenant they made with God.

      We promised (in our Baptismal Covenant) to be continue in the Apostles' teaching and fellowship. That is our covenant. The prophetic voice is the one that calls us back to our covenant - back to the Apostles' teaching.

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      • But Philip, none of your OT prophets said anything about LGBT people. They hammered the message that Ezekiel expresses as the sin of Sodom, "This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy."

        Given that most scholars have now concluded that the "clobber passages" in the NT do not actually refer to gay people or equal marriage, it is time to move forward with the prophetic voice of inclusion.

        Forward, not back.

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      • Cynthia - "forward, not back" was probably one of the slogans of Ahab and the other kings that slew the prophets of Israel. They wanted to move forward, beyond their covenant to embrace a deeper understanding of God - that He was both YWHW and Baal - that Baal was simply another way of looking at YHWH.

        It seems that human beings keep wanting to go Forward. But when you have gone down the wrong path, they only way to get to the right path is to turn around (repent) and go back to where you went wrong.

        The prophetic voice calls us to repent, not to go forward. Every one of the Prophets called Israel (or her Kings in the prophets of Samuel and Kings) to repentance. They called Israel to go back, not forward.

        Return to the Apostles' teaching and fellowship.

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      • Could you find me a place where the Apostles addressed and excluded LGBT people? You can't, it isn't there.

        The church used to justify slavery, racism, antisemitism, witch-burning, misogyny, and homophobia.

        The "prophetic voice" is the one that sees all people as created in the Image of God, and sets aside a long and ugly history of us Creating God in our Bigoted Image.

        Jesus said that we could tell the real prophets from the false ones by the fruits of their labor. Look around. Look at the damage caused by treating any class of people as dehumanized "others." Those fruits are ugly. So stop it. Just stop it. The churches long "tradition" of oppression on many fronts should give everyone pause before imposing their view, by force, in policy or law.

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      • No one should exclude people.
        Likewise, no sin should be blessed.

        The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke in a prophetic voice against racism because racism is unbiblical and does not accord with the teachings of the Apostles. Even at the height of Democratic party controlled racism, no liturgy was ever devised for the lynching of a black man or the burning of his church building.

        The Apostles did not exclude any people, but Paul did exclude several sins. Homosexual sex was among those sins. The Church lacks he authority to bless same sex unions because it lacks the authority to bless sin. The Church can no more bless same sex unions as it can bless racism or sexism or theft or murder.

        Since you asked me a question on the Apostle's teaching, please answer one of mine. Where in Holy Scripture do you see God blessing same sex unions. Where do you see "marriage" as defined as anything but one man and one woman in the New Testament?

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      • PS - By invoking racism you have baited me. The Episcopal Church condoned slavery from its inception in North America and found Biblical support for its position. And after the Civil War it long Jim-Crowed the church. Vast numbers of whites feared black control of the church; white bishops (among others) openly claimed blacks were not civilized and not capable of leadership. We as a church were still slowing the arc of justice when MLK walked the earth. Consider, for instance, all white church schools. Consider that some dioceses still constitutionally required leadership to be Anglo-Saxon.

        The same holds with marriage equality and homosexual sex. Instead of telling me one is not mentioned in the bible and the other is listed as a sin (though I would dispute even that), tell me what about the greatest commandments makes either a sin? It is we who commit the sin when we deny a Loving couple marriage, just as we did when we supported slavery and Jim Crow - and did not speak out against miscegenation laws.

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      • I have no need to justify who I am and the love my husband and I share... a love that was recently expressed in holy marriage in the Episcopal Church. People like yourself, who would maliciously equate marriage equality with racism and lynching, are on the wrong side of history and so far from the God I know... all I can do is pray for your conversion and that you find peace.

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      • John - those bishops and priests and people were all wrong about racism and The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King showed them their error - from within the teachings of Holy Scripture. So, can you do the same for me with same sex blessings? Show me where God speaks of homosexual sex in any way other than as a sin. Show me where Jesus contradicts the OT Law on sexual morality - except to make it more strict (lusting after a woman is committing adultery with her in your heart). Speak out of the Tradition as Dr. King did (and as Thomas Aquinas did when he condemned slavery and as all the other clergy that spoke against racism did.

        Even those who support women's ordination had recourse to scripture. What is the scriptural warrant for blessing same sex unions? I have never been shown any verse that approves of it - without there being serious other problems present. E.g. the healing of the Centurion's pais. If "pais" refers to Sex Slave and Jesus' healing of the pais is Jesus' approval of homosexual relationships, then the approved model of homosexual sex is master/slave, not two people meeting as equals. Second, Jesus is referred to as God's pais in Luke as well. What does that say about Jesus' relationship with God.

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    • By "prophetic voice" do you mean that someone says what you want to hear? If not, what does the term mean?

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      • Positions / declarations / messages that reveal themselves to people as being divinely inspired... particularly messages calling people to move towards justice. There is nothing bold, just, leaderly, or divine about Bishop Smith's tepid movements on this issue to date.

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      • Chris - how do we know if a message is inspired by the Holy Spirit or some other spirit?

        According to the BCP, we know when the "new teaching" accords with the Holy Scriptures. Since Bishop Smith is faithful to the Holy Scriptures and his teaching (on this issue) accords with 2000 years of tradition, I would say his voice is the prophetic one.

        Sin cannot be justice. Denying the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer is not justice. The voice of the prophet always called Israel back to her Covenant with God. The "justice" issues of poverty and commerce uber alles were simply symptoms that Israel had broken its Covenant.

        I would say that the anger, hatred, lawsuits, impatience, and lack of self-control (on all sides) are signs that we have broken our covenant with God. We need to return to the Apostles' teaching and fellowship.

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  4. From a process standpoint, isn't there now a period in which additional candidates can be nominated. So we will not know the final slate until early June.

    So if people are concerned about geographical bias, or gender bias, or the fact there are not enough conservatives, liberals, etc on the slate, additional people and choices can be identified.

    Does anyone know if in the past there have been such nominations?

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    • Yes, there is a process for making nominations from the floor of the convention. The Episcopal Church Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop (JNCPB) has released the process for nominating from the floor;
      http://publicaffairs.cmail2.com/t/ViewEmail/r/B548098228A96B052540EF23F30FEDED/CA8B7B98DB8F2C5784E5AAD5A6C37FC6

      Bro David

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    • There have been additional "floor" nominees in the past. I think Charles Jenkins of Louisiana was one of those nine years ago.

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    • Bp Thompson of Southern Ohio was nominated from the floor in 1997 and ran second to Bp Griswold.

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  5. While I am certain these fine bishops are excellent nominees. I hope a dove lands upon the head of the current PB during the election and those present and voting follow the precedent and understand that she would be a great PB, and vote to call her to another term!

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    • wouldn't that be wonderful? Katherine has done such a fabulous job as PB!!! ...and she's just so darn smart...

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    • Thank you ! Viewing the current slate I pray that the Holy Spirit will make clear to the hearts and minds of those present His/Her choice to lead us forward and upward.

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  6. The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith - Diocese of Southwest Florida - seems to be the right man for the job based upon previous leadership accomplishments

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    • Mr Page what leadership accomplishments of Bishop Smiths are you referring to?

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  7. My dreams had taken me to the diocese of California, then to the diocese of Los Angeles and landed me in front of the National Cathedral door in the diocese of Washington D.C....not one dream came true but I look forward to knowing more about each of the real nominees.

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  8. A news article from January 2015:

    "Bishop Dabney Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida appears to be wrestling with another aspect. He has yet to announce whether he will authorize same-sex union blessings, a topic he was pressed about a year ago during a tense meeting at St. Peter's Episcopal Cathedral in St. Petersburg. A task force he appointed concluded its discussions about the topic several months ago."

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/religion/many-wrestle-with-religious-beliefs-and-fairness-over-gay-marriage/2213191

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  9. Three out of four is not bad at this point. I think we need strong leadership supporting same-sex marriage providing for both the current blessings as well as provision for sacramental marriage. Bp. Smith does not appear to offer much in the way of leadership in this area. Also...why no women nominees ?

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  10. The only one I kind of know is +Michael and he is awesome!!! I am concerned about +Smith, we really don't need to go backwards on our prophetic voice.

    We've pretty much come to consensus of including all of God's Children, and with so many of us already married in churches (under "generous pastoral oversight"), backwards movement would be intolerable.

    I want conservatives to have a place in TEC, but not the excluding agenda at the national level, and not PB.

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    • You "want conservatives to have a place in TEC, but not the excluding agenda at the national level, and not PB." Which basically means that you want conservatives to keep their mouths shut. But thanks for playing, kid.

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      • I think that for a long time to come, there will be conservative parishes that can comfortably find conservative clergy. There's no problem co-existing in urban and suburban areas where there are generally lots of churches, giving parishioners, conservative or liberal, "safe" places to go. I see no problem with having parishes that do inclusive marriage, and those that don't, co-existing. It's more problematic in rural areas where there might be only one church.

        However, what is absolutely impossible is having a national leadership that won't allow the affirming parishes to continue affirming. Virtually all of the Dioceses in "blue state" have been allowing marriage in some of their parishes. This has been going on since 2004 (Massachusetts) and widely since 2012 with the "generous pastoral oversight" clause passing blessings.

        At the national level, we can't have excluding agendas anymore. That horse has left the barn and isn't going back. I married my partner of 23 years back in January. It is awesome to have full acceptance and full legal rights, and that argument is over.

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    • Evidently Conservatives are not allowed to sit at the lunch counter with you and need to sit at the back of the bus. Why should we stay in the fields rather than being allowed back in the house?

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      • "not allowed to sit at the lunch counter with you and need to sit at the back of the bus"

        You're not African-Americans under Jim Crow, merely looking for your equal rights. It's offensive of you to Play Victim using their history.

        You declare partnered/married LGBT people to be (unrepentant) "sinners", and want them discriminatorily treated AS such. You want POWER-OVER them. It is for *that* reason, in order to show TEC's LGBT members compassion, that we must protect them from such POWER-OVER.

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      • JC Fisher - (And Moderators). I thought were were not supposed to speak to the motives of others. JC assumes that my motive is to have "POWER-OVER" them. Please edit JC's post as you have edited my posts when you said I assumed motives not in evidence. The rules should apply the same to all posters on this board or you should simply state that you are going to classify conservative posters as second-class citizens.

        Now to JC's point. I am a distinct minority with TEC and I have no power at the national level. Conservatives have no power and precious little influence. We are in the exact same place. We are told that we can stay if we are good little conservatives and don't make waves or don't try to influence the national church or have any positions of leadership in it (c.f. Cynthia's post above). So we are not treated as full partners and full members in the Church. So much for your vaulted "inclusion" or "equality."

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      • Philip, I'm looking at this: "So we are not treated as full partners and full members in the Church. So much for your vaulted “inclusion” or “equality.”"

        As far as I can tell, the conservative position insists on excluding me and my spouse. Insists on calling us "sinners" instead of Children of God. And insists on contributing to the hateful rhetoric of LGBT people as the "other" which contributes to bullying, hate crimes, and suicide - especially of LGBT teens.

        The Scriptural support for oppressing LGBT people has been thoroughly discredited from many scholars and theologians. Even if you don't buy it, you have to admit that there is enough doubt to stop oppressing people.

        Using tradition is equally problematic. Marriage has changed numerous times, multiple wives, women as chattel, and divorce. Further, the church has a long and shameful "tradition" of racism, antisemitism, supporting slavery, and burning witches.

        Tolerating the intolerant is one things. Welcoming the intolerant into leadership positions so they can ENFORCE oppression and hate on me and my LGBT brothers and sisters is something else.

        Homophobia is on the wrong side of history and many of us who are just entering middle age and younger see it just like racism. That isn't going to change. Including all people in the life of the church is great, but the leadership and policies MUST be on the liberating side. That is the way to the Kingdom.

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      • Let's not tarnish the noble label of theological conservatism by using it as a mere stand-in for heterosexism, please. Conservatism means defending family values and the sanctity of marriage - for all families and all marriages.

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      • Cynthia - You misunderstand the position of Holy Scripture on your marriage. We have no desire to exclude you from the Church. We have every desire to see you united to God through Jesus Christ. We do not wish to exclude you from the Sacraments, but (according to the Book of Common Prayer) you and your female spouse cannot experience the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony to each other with TEC. Quoting from the Catechism of TEC (BCP p. 861): "Holy Matrimony is Christian Marriage, in which the *WOMAN* and *MAN* enter into a life-long union...." From where I sit, that is pretty definite. The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage (BCP p. 423) talk about "man" and "woman" as well - not "spouse 1" and "spouse 2."

        You may not like that, but if your Rector or priest claimed to marry you, he/she is in violation of his/her Ordination vows - not that he/she will ever be presented or deposed or subject to discipline for doing so because the first sign of a dysfunctional family is lack of discipline. So, those in power in TEC will never discipline their political allies until the offense becomes so sever (such as Bishop Cook) that discipline cannot be avoided.

        As evidence for this, when was the last priest or bishop disciplined for offering communion to those who are not baptized? When was the last bishop or priest disciplined for denying the Resurrection or the Incarnation or the Trinity?

        Yet conservative bishops and priests are subject to discipline for the smallest of slights.

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      • Philip, you are not current. Here's what the Bishop of New York wrote: The 2012 General Convention adopted Resolution A049 titled “Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships.” In my view the debate over this Resolution was of crucial importance. At one point in the House of Bishops’ consideration the question was asked: couldn’t the resolve that read, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-sex marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church be interpreted to mean that clergy in jurisdictions that allow civil marriage of same-gender couples, were permitted to officiate at those services? The answer from the Special Committee spokesman was, yes, that is what they had had in mind. The debate then continued. No amendment was offered. The unamended Resolution A049 passed by a nearly 2/3 majority. I conclude therefore, that it was the mind of this General Convention to extend the meaning of “generous pastoral oversight” to include circumstances such as those in which we in New York find ourselves.

        So under "generous pastoral oversight" plenty of LGBT Episcopalians have gotten married in our Episcopal parishes using the rite that was passed in 2012. It's a lovely rite entitled "I Will Bless You and You Will be a Blessing." It includes a blessing and a Eucharist. While there is still work to be done, the Marriage Task Force is on it. The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and many dioceses have been doing these marriages. 1000's of couples are married in roughly half the states of the union.

        My spouse and I got married, legally in our state and under Resolution A049 in our Episcopal parish. We are married and it was sacramental. The church was filled to the brim and the music rivaled William and Kate's, except there was no room for the London Symphony, alas.

        Inclusive marriage is here. Thus, an unaffirming PB is out of the question. We need a PB who can help us all co-exist, bring the possibility of inclusion to all of the dioceses (in my view, it doesn't have to be all parishes), while providing the provision of safe parishes for conservatives.

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  11. I have heard that out of all the women currently in the HoB, only Mary Gray-Reeves (El Camino Real) was canonically eligible to be nominated, and she declined. Her husband was killed in an accident last year and she may have decided that the PB's job wouldn't be good for her family right now.

    Personally, I would rather see more qualified women elected as diocesan bishops. The female diocesan count is very thin, and there should have been more women available for discernment than there were for this election.

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  12. Respectfully:

    I see a lot of picking apart here by region, litmus test, sex, etc. Perhaps we could listen to the nominees? The Committee selected them for a reason. Maybe we should just listen.

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  13. We should listen, we should conduct research, we should read, we should share what we've learned and we should pray.

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  14. The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas has a kind face. I take an immediate liking to him 🙂 it does not bother me that there isn't a woman in the mix. ..I am more interested in good nominations, not gender. ..all men, all women. ..doesn't matter. ..we need a good not too liberal presiding bishop. ..

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  15. It's the bishops who do the electing - I would expect their votes will be determined by their experience with each of the candidates in the HoB. Like many others, I, too, am a bit surprised by the lack of a woman candidate, and personally I want a prophet who thinks outside the box of the present institution. I've read the letters each candidate wrote to his diocese. None engage me. Of those on the nom comm with whom I'm familiar, I think their inclination is to play it safe. Maybe we will see a candidate emerge who can catch our attention - or maybe the bishops I think would be great said, "No thank you" already.

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  16. Troubling indeed is the language of ++Dabney's consecration sermon, here quoted verbatim: "To guard is to protect and defend. The guard is not to spend the treasure, but to protect it from those who would abscond with it or misuse it.
    “The bishop is called to be the de- fender of the faith and not an innovator with the faith. Bishops are to interpret scripture, not to rewrite it.”

    Coming in 2007, one can only conclude the reference was to marriage equality.

    Source: http://s3.amazonaws.com/dfc_attachments/public/documents/2750047/smithconsecration.pdf

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    • Eric.
      Bishop Francis Gray, Bishop Diocesan of Northern Indiana (retired) and then Assistant Bishop of Virginia, gave the sermon at Bishop Smith's consecration, not Bishop Smith.

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  17. Whoever is elected has big shoes to fill. Thanks be to God for Bishop Katharine. When so much of what we hear from religious leaders is absolutely cringe worthy, Bishop Jefferts-Schori has conducted herself with grace and dignity during her term, offering inspiration and hope to those who have been marginalized by their own churches. How many times I have received stunned looks of amazement from those who think religion is for uneducated rubes when I tell them my Church is lead by a female scientist!

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    • Because the (term) of KJS has been sooo good for TEC. We have grown by leaps and bounds! Our budgets have never been stronger and we have solved all the problems of dioceses and congregations wanting to leave.

      How much of TEC's wealth have we transferred to trial lawyers and judicial systems? How much wealth overall has been transferred to lawyers rather than being used to pursue mission? Low ball estimates put it north of $40 million for TEC alone. How many homeless could we house? How many hungry could we feed? How many clean water wells could we have drilled in Africa for that kind of money?

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      • $40 million is a drop in the bucket fighting to retain the 100s of millions of dollars in properties and other assets that succeeding folks have tried to take with them.

        Bro David

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  18. I'm very new to the Church but Bishop Curry is certainly a dynamic preacher and if that energy extends to his leadership he looks like to be a fantastic candidate.

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  19. All four candidates are able but the next PB will be likely be Bishop Curry. He'll be a fine Truman to follow FDR, so to speak. Whatever the outcome I'll be thanking God for Katharine Jefferts-Schori's wise leadership--and her extraordinary faith--for the rest of my years!

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  20. I'm sorry that Bishop Greg Rickel is not on the list. He is progressive, organizationally-minded, and inspiring. He has done great work in the Diocese of Olympia. Our loss for not having him in the mix. I would have liked to have heard his vision for the church under his leadership.

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    • Call +Greg and ask if he will allow his nomination from the floor of Convention. The process for nominating from the floor is linked in one of my comments above.

      Bro David

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  21. Bishop Breidenthal was one of my teachers at GTS and later we were colleagues when he was at Princeton, so I've seen him in action up close in many different kinds of situations. He is a brilliant scholar who arrives at any decision after after careful theological reflection. His preaching is wonderful. He is an able administrator who can bring people together to work collaboratively. And he is a sensitive pastor. I don't know the other three, but can say with confidence that +Tom would be a terrific PB.

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  22. I will be watching this convention with great interest. I already have one foot out the door and the decisions made this summer will help me to decide whether I should pull back or run.

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    • Please sign your full name when commenting, Sally.

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