Monday, March 30, 2009

Bishop Candidates for South Dakota - good initial impression

Here are my quick reactions. I will be doing some research and posting more in a few days. My older kid got four pins in his shoulder today so I won't be on this for a bit.

John Tarrant, Rector of Trinity, Pierre SD is a decent guy - one of a few who has been genuinely respectful and kind toward me in these times of conflict. He has helped his parish grow and is building some good joint ministry with Reservation congregations.

John Floberg has done some good bi-cultural mission building in North Dakota, including efforts to build fellowship among Native American men and grass roots efforts against alcohol abuse. He knows this part of the country and seems to enjoy it. Also a decent guy in my limited experience.

Douglas Dunn from Colorado serves a large parish and also provides mission leadership in a regional/rural setting. Don't know him personally. He is a native of SD.

Peter Stebinger is from Connecticut and I don't know much about him. I have heard that he has shown up as a nominee in other places - for a variety of reasons, that is a red flag.

But on the whole, it looks like the Nominating and Standing Committees sought out candidates who match the Diocesan profile and have credible (even fruitful) experience in settings like South Dakota.


The Underground Pewster said...

But first tell us about the picture of the house in the snow on your header.

One from Nashotah? Cool as a house in the snow if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

Well, it will be interesting to see what else you come up with in your research. With the North Dakota search, which many were watching, they posted the candidates' essays online and these could be read, reviewed, and debated. Very important! I certainly hope they do so here asap. We need the "whole picture".

From my understanding, there were FIVE candidates here, so it seems one is "out". That's interesting.

As for Stebinger, it's my understanding that he spearheaded the building of a school for AIDS orphans in Kenya, has done missionary work there, here at the Rosebud (?) and a heck of a lot more. Maybe you know something I don't? What's this about other bishop nominations?

Tregonsee said...

Doesn't seem like a very diverse group. Not a single Wiccan, Muslim, or Buddhist!

TLF+ said...

anonymous - The candidates' statements and other info will be posted by the diocese soon. Keep checking the "Bishop Election" tab (the Diocesan main page is in my "Useful Links" to the right.

On Stebinger, I am having to sift fact from rumor. So, will not say more right now except "red flags" - there are a few that I am checking out. Not saying he's not a good guy - all four are probably good guys but there are certain clergy in TEC who, as one of my former rectors said, "Dance around the mitre tree." Gotta watch out for those.

Pewster - that's just a googled picture to emphasize the final roar of winter.

Tregonsee - I think that folks here realize that we are in a make or break time for the future of the diocese. The Nominating and Standing Committees worked hard. The nominees seem responsive to the profile. Can't tell you how pleased I am that we didn't get any political tokens or eccentrics.

Anonymous said...

Good points, TLF. Will be very interested in what you find out about this dark horse candidate, and any other perceptions you have on the others.

I guess we could also wonder why Father Floberg DIDN'T go for North Dakota, or at least . .. if he did . . . he wasn't one of the final candidates.

TLF+ said...

Anonymous - Floberg was not a candidate in the last ND election, but he led a petition drive to add a candidate when the 5 nominees were not asked to take a position vis a vis Gene Robinson's consecration.

Although the candidate he supported was not elected, Floberg has served supportively under elected Bishop Michael Smith.

Stebinger was one of the candidates in ND during that election. Still digging to see if he was on any other lists.

And Stebinger's daughter was, for some reason, put through the ordination process through South Dakota... toward the end of the process, it was revealed that she is a lesbian and some here felt that this was not dealt with honestly. The fact that she was put through the process here (where clergy are in short supply), then went off to serve in the Northeast is strange.

So there are question marks.

Anonymous said...

Again, Rev. Tarrant is a Robertson puppet. I'd like to see someone who has no ties or connections to Robertson...a fresh change.