Friday, April 3, 2009

South Dakota Bishop Candidate Statements have arrived... and a good word about the Nominating Committee

Hard copies have come to the Convention delegates by mail.

I will read up and hopefully post some impressions after Easter.

Let me offer one more word of praise for the Nominating Committee. They seem to have leaned toward candidates who bring health to their congregations. This diocese is hurting - to ignore that is to be in the worst sort of denial. The candidates (with one caveat - see below) seem to have nurtured growth, new ministry, solid lay leaders and other measures of health in their various settings.

The caveat: I am going to be interested in Doug Dunn's responses. His parish suffered massive attendance decline, and is in a conflicted, unhealthy diocese. He has little to nothing available in terms of sermons or newsletters by which one can get to know him from a distance. And he apparently has some inside connections around the diocese - that's a red flag if it means more of the "in group/out group" dynamics that have been less than helpful here.

But like I say, the Nominating Committee seems to have looked for healthy leaders so they must have seen something. So I will look forward to reading the candidate statements and info, and hope to share some worthwhile questions and comments.


The Archer of the Forest said...

I have a well placed source, and they have been telling me a bit of detail about the search, although nothing confidential or anything like that. What little they have been able to tell me about the process, I felt like they really tried to go out of their way to weed out candidates who were unhealthy or had no idea what South Dakota was about but just "wanted the purple shirt so bad they could taste it."

I mean, if you look at the map in the packet from the diocese, you'll notice that the "Walkabout" does not go by interstate at all. Back roads were intentional so that candidates know exactly how big the state is and what goes on in remote dioceses.

I know at least one of the final 4 was by petition. I don't know which but from the rumors I hear, this person didn't make the initial cut from the Standing Committee.

Overall, I think we were in good hands with the Nominating Committee.

Anonymous said...

To clear the previous comment, all current four are not by petition, never were.It's a rumor what you heard.
Anyone of these candidates are fine men to lead this diocese...period.

TLF+ said...

Anonymous - thanks for clearing that up.

But we can't put a "period" on the four... only one can be elected and we do have to discern. Doesn't mean anything bad about anybody.

No one of them will match every point on the diocesan profile, but all will match several points. And of course there are things like "sense of humor" and basic communication style that we can't assess until we meet them at the walkabouts.

Keep up the prayers.

Anonymous said...

Mildly interesting article in the Capital Journal:

The Rev. Webster Two Hawk makes an important point, not a superficial one.

TLF+ said...

Great point indeed, Anonymous. The last Bishop had many health problems - not his fault - but he didn't do a good job delegating via retired or neighboring bishops and the diocese has been untended.

The missionary history of this diocese was established by Bishop Hare, who travelled extensively. He was a relative of Bishop Hobart, who used the same model to vastly expand the Diocese of New York beyond the NYC area. We need that model in play here.