UPDATED: Online election underway for committee to nominate presiding bishop candidates

Posted Jun 9, 2021

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the results of the first ballot.

[Episcopal News Service] An election is underway for the members of the committee that will select the nominees for The Episcopal Church’s next presiding bishop.

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop is made up of five lay leaders and five clergy leaders elected by the House of Deputies and five bishops elected by the House of Bishops. The committee’s members typically are elected in person at the meeting of General Convention scheduled three years before the new presiding bishop is to be elected, but because the 80th General Convention was postponed a year to 2022, this committee election is being held online.

Bishops and deputies were invited to begin voting at 8 a.m. EDT June 8, with the first ballot closing after 24 hours. The result of the first ballot were announced June 9 on the General Convention Office’s results page.

All five bishop seats were filled on the first ballot. The five elected to the committee are Indianapolis Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Atlanta Bishop Rob Wright, Alaska Bishop Mark Lattime, Central Pennsylvania Bishop Audrey Scanlan and West Tennessee Bishop Phoebe Roaf.

Three of the 10 deputy seats were filled on the first ballot. They are Deborah Hines, Steven Nishibayashi and the Rev. Deborah Jackson.

Each candidate must receive a majority of votes to be elected to the committee. The second ballot will open on June 15. If all seats on the committee aren’t filled by the third ballot, the nominees will the fewest votes will be dropped so that the fourth ballot will be reduced to four more than the number of vacancies to be filled. The fifth ballot, if necessary, will be further reduced.

The full slate of candidates for the committee can be found here.

“Although this process may seem complicated, it was adopted to accommodate the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves,” General Convention Secretary the Rev. Michael Barlowe said in a message to bishops and deputies, who “are spread across multiple time zones, and have varying access to the internet. This process is intended to promote fair access to voting for everyone, and to maximize participation. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.”

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, the church’s 27th presiding bishop, will complete his third triennium in 2024, with his successor to be elected at the 81st General Convention, scheduled for July 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky.