THE STANDING COMMITTEE OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF VERMONT RESOLUTION SETTING FORTH THE PETITION PROCESS FOR THE ELECTION OF A BISHOP DIOCESAN
WHEREAS, the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont (the “Diocese”) is conducting a discernment process to elect a new Bishop Diocesan; and
WHEREAS, the Episcopal transition process occurs under the supervision and jurisdiction of the Standing Committee of the Diocese as delegated by the Convention of the Diocese; and
WHEREAS, the Standing Committee has established a Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee and a Transition Committee, with specific responsibilities for the search, nomination, election and transition process; and
WHEREAS, the Standing Committee is responsible for the “Petition Process”; and
WHEREAS, by these resolutions, the Standing Committee desires to establish the procedures by which nominations may be submitted by means of the Petition Process to the May 18, 2019 Special Convention of the Diocese.
NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS RESOLVED that the Standing Committee of the Diocese does hereby establish and adopt the following Petition Process to apply to the election of a new Bishop Diocesan in the Diocese:
PURPOSE OF THE PETITION PROCESS
“Speak, lord, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10.
The Canons of the Episcopal Church provide for an election process in which laity and clergy join with the Holy Spirit to raise up new episcopal leadership. No one person or group knows whom God will choose, the people consenting, to lead this Diocese. Rather, the invitation to our Convention is a process of discerning a call.
The principal method for calling candidates for election in this Diocese is the discernment work carried out by the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee. This Committee, comprised of a diverse and robust group of lay persons and clergy, have been appointed to carry out the important task of forming a slate of three to five candidates for election to serve as Bishop Diocesan.
The Petition Process, by contrast, is intended to address the narrow circumstance when a person who herself or himself discerns a call to candidacy has not been raised up through the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee process. There could be several reasons why a candidate did not become a discerned candidate but, instead, has a call through the Petition Process. We trust, though, that the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee process will be the process through which most of the candidates ultimately participating in the election will be brought forward.
WHO MAY BE NOMINATED PETITION PROCESS?
All Bishops and Priests in or affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America (The Episcopal Church), who will lead the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and of this Diocese can be nominated by this Petition Process.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PETITION PROCESS CANDIDATES
The Standing Committee has developed the forms and established the requirements for the Petition Process in this Diocese. Copies of the forms developed by the Standing Committee to implement these requirements for the Petition Process are attached to this Resolution as Exhibit A. Only the Standing Committee can waive any of these requirements.
The slate of candidates identified by the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee for the position of Bishop of the Diocese will be announced by the Standing Committee on the Diocesan website on or about March 23, 2019. The announcement will state the beginning and ending dates for the Petition Period, which are expected to begin on or about March 25, 2019 and to close at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on March 29, 2019. Petitions must be supported by valid original signatures of eight (8) clergy eligible to vote at the Special Convention and eight (8) lay communicants in good standing in the Diocese for a total of sixteen (16) required signatures, which sixteen (16) required individuals must represent at least four (4) different congregations (parishes or active missions) situated in at least three (3) different Mission Districts within the Diocese. No signatory may be a member of the Standing Committee, the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee or the Transition Committee.
In order for a Petition candidate to be accepted by the Standing Committee, it is essential that the candidate submit the same information required of candidates discerned through the conventional nominating process, and consent to the nomination in writing. These materials then will be used to supplement background checks and to develop published information on candidates on the ballot. The application materials required are:
- Completed Petition Nomination Form
- Consent to Nomination Form
- Completed Background Check Authorization Form
- Three letters of reference (at least one from an ordained person, at least one from a bishop under whom you have served in a priestly role, and at least one from a lay person)
- Current resume or curriculum vitae
- A current photograph
- Updated Office for Transition Ministry Clergy Portfolio
- Autobiographical statement (maximum of 500 words)
- A statement outlining why you believe yourself to be called through the Petition Process into discernment (maximum, 250 words)
- Names and contact information for all previous bishops under whom you have served.
- Any other information the Standing Committee may require
The fully executed originals of the foregoing forms and requirements must be delivered for reception to The Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, 5 Rock Point Road, Burlington, VT 05408, Attention: President of the Standing Committee. If any of these documents is received after 4:30 p.m. EST on March 29, 2019, it will be void and rejected by the Standing Committee.
Not every signatory is required to sign the same Petition Nomination Form. Instead, a Petition Nomination Form may be signed in counterparts, which means that all 16 signatories may sign separate Petition Nomination Forms as long as they are all affixed to the Petition Nomination Form at the time of reception. The original signatures of all 16 signatories are required to be affixed to the Petition Nomination Form by 4:30 p.m. EST on March 29, 2019 for the reception to be deemed complete. Once all original counterpart signature pages are affixed to the Petition Nomination Form, each separate counterpart signature page will be recognized as an original, but taken together they will be treated as one and the same original Petition Nomination Form. No signatory may be a member of the Standing Committee, the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee or the Transition Committee.
The deadline for receiving all of the additional information required is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on March 29, 2019. The originals of the additional information must be delivered for reception to The Episcopal Diocese of Vermont, 5 Rock Point Road, Burlington, VT 05408, Attention: President of the Standing Committee. If any of the additional information is received after the March 29, 2019 deadline, the Petition candidate’s nomination will be void and rejected by the Standing Committee.
REQUIREMENTS OF PETITION CANDIDATES
Any Petition Process candidate must successfully complete the same background check process required of the candidates recommended for nomination by the Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee. Any Petition Process candidate will participate in the pre-election processes, such as walkabouts, arranged by the Transition Committee. In addition, upon receipt of all required forms and additional information, the Chancellor of the Diocese will meet with any Petition Process candidate as will be done with all Bishop Discernment and Nominating Committee candidates.
WHERE MAY PETITION PROCESS FORMS BE OBTAINED?
All of the forms described in these resolutions that are related to the Petition Process are located on the Home Page of the Bishop Search at https://www.bishopsearchvt.org/ and also on the Home Page of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont at http://www.diovermont.org. While the forms may be located online, they may not be filed online. All forms will have to be printed and delivered for reception by hand, the U.S. Postal Service or by overnight courier by the two required dates, as appropriate.
Adopted by the Standing Committee on Monday, October 22, 2018
By: The Rev. Richard R. Swanson
President, Standing Committee of the Diocese of Vermont
* If necessary.