The bishop of South Dakota must interact well with the national church. The Diocese of South Dakota operates in large part on a grant from the General Convention, as well as funds for Reservation ministry from other national entities. Floberg has worked within the bodies that make funding and policy decisions and has built up relationship credibility with key leaders.
Floberg has been able to work constructively with the Presiding Bishop and other national leaders, even though he is theologically more traditional.
Good relationship with national leaders will be very important after this summer's General Convention:
- - GC is going to consider and probably adopt a number of actions that would explicitly authorize blessing of same sex unions. As the most recent research indicates, actions like this have been a source of "serious conflict" in many Episcopal churches and most congregations have experienced some conflict over LGBT issues. The new Bishop will need to shepherd the Diocese through the fallout from these national actions.
- - GC is likely to authorize sweeping changes to the disciplinary canons of the church. These will make discipline more subjective, arbitrary and contentious. Floberg has shown himself able to work collegially in the overheated national church environment, even with people in profound disagreement. This might be an encouraging sign for clergy of varying perspectives. The Bishop is asked to guard both discipline and unity.
- - GC's own materials indicate financial distress. South Dakota will need a good advocate as funding decisions become more difficult at the national level.
This is not a "final answer" or endorsement, but it is an important aspect of Floberg's ministry that isn't brought out in most "walkabout" questions. Most of us think first about our own congregations or ministries (perfectly natural). But we are part of a Diocese with significant connection to the national church, so this dimension of our life needs to come up as we elect a Bishop.