Saturday, May 9, 2009





The Archer of the Forest said...

I have the numbers from both ballots on my blog for anyone interested.

TLF+ said...


Anonymous said...

Any take on the process, the people, the result? What do you think of the whole thing?

TLF+ said...

There's no perfect process but the folks who led this one did a good job.

The convention itself was remarkably relaxed. Usually, such events are filled with anxiety but this one was not. The gathering seemed to have positive anticipation - even joy.

The election was conducted between the liturgy of the Word and liturgy of the Sacrament, so there was Word, preaching and prayer before we cast ballots. Sincere spiritual effort went into the election.

The process obviously built some consensus, as Tarrant had strong leads among clergy and laity on the very first ballot.

So, while there were tweaks that might help here and there (as in any process), on the whole things were done well. Blogging and YouTube came in from outside "the process" but actually meshed with and supported it, IMO.

Many folks with whom I spoke perceive Tarrant as a healer and reconcilier, in a diocese with cultural, regional, congregational and other kinds of cleavages. The diocese suffered as its retiring Bishop was afflicted with many health problems during his episcopate. (Why God calls some people to seasons of suffering is a mystery, but that was the path which Bp. Robertson had to travel).

South Dakota faces many challenges. The clergy here (those in rural and Reservation settings mainly) face amazing challenges that I am still discovering from a relatively "normal" setting in Sioux Falls. It is hard to describe how far from all the normal "reference points" many of the clergy here must operate.

Clergy deployment and retention is difficult, because of isolation, hardships and heartbreaks in many settings here.

Add to that the overall poor state of the denomination, and you see a situation where renewal would be a glorious testimony to God.

Still praying and waiting. If this diocese were the sole measure of things, I would be hopeful. I sense God rallying people around a Bishop with a good heart, a strong work ethic and a gift for bringing folks together. The potential here is great - imagine a Christian body that overcomes historical horrors to unite people of very different cultures in service to God. Imagine a place where things we take for granted in "normal" churches are sacrificial choices, offered routinely for the good of God's people. Much of this goes on in South Dakota already - in what wonderful ways might God cultivate such fruit?

But the direction of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion really have me disgusted right now. I would just ignore it all but this diocese depends upon grants from the General Convention in order to put clergy in the field. So the stuff that happens in the wider church matters - the money received here will have many strings attached.

Like I say, praying and waiting.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I largely agree with Father Tim. I thought it was an incredibly laid back and spiritually based process. Kudos to everyone who helped out in planning and overseeing that event. I felt right at home, which was nice seeing as it was my first official diocesan function here.

Having been to one or two bishop elections before in other dioceses, there was surprisingly no last minute mudslinging politicking going on. I found that incredibly refreshing.

I am actually pretty excited about Tarrant's election. I think he has some very good pastoral and reconciling skills that I perceive this diocese needs at the current time (as a lot of dioceses in the Church do these days).

I wish Father Tarrant prayers and all the best as he continues to serve the diocese in his present and future capacity. Certainly he will have to hit the ground running.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your great answer. Interesting that you should say "strong work ethic." Did this stand out for you more than the other candidates' work ethic?

TLF+ said...

I think they all had a pretty good work ethic, given the scope of their ministries. One thing that stood out about John T. was his willingness to drive long miles to do a circuit of Reservation chapels on key Holy Days - that's the kind of work the Bp. here has to do.