The combined average Sunday attendance (ASA) of the Episcopal Dioceses of North and South Dakota is around 3,500 people.
Both dioceses have similar mission challenges and opportunities. Both have members divided over questions of Christian belief and practice.
North Dakota just announced that it will have an Assistant Bishop along with the current Diocesan Bishop, mainly to help with a pastoral response to theologically divided members. South Dakota is electing a "Coadjutor" who will serve alongside the current Diocesan until as late as 2012.
I wonder if the North Dakota model might better serve one combined "Diocese of the Dakotas." Maybe a couple of Bishops, working as a team, responsive to theological and mission affinities rather than geography, and sharing some admin and mission staff? And one wonders why the two current Diocesan Bishops couldn't have adopted the model in practice, with Bishop Robertson (South Dakota) visiting North Dakota's "progressives" and Bishop Smith (North Dakota) visiting the Rushmore State's "traditionalists."
I'm not sure I'm right and I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Just a thought that popped into my head.