Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Electing the 10th Bishop of Georgia

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The following is from the Rt. Rev. Harry Shipps, who served as the 8th Bishop of Georgia:
On September 12, a Special Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will gather in Dublin to elect the tenth bishop of our Diocese. The election will be from a group of six nominees selected by our Nominating Committee. Our diocese, larger than the countries of Portugal or Austria and dating back to 1733, is a family of seventy-two congregations. By and large, we have been a happy and responsible diocese.

Seal of the Diocese of GeorgiaThere is no one Anglican procedure for selecting a bishop. In The Episcopal Church, the diocesan convention is divided into two electoral groups, clergy and laity. Each group votes separately for a nominee (termed a Vote by Orders) until each group has given one nominee a majority of their votes. That person is then the bishop-elect. The number of ballots varies from few to many. In other Anglican Provinces the procedures differ, from appointment by the Queen in England, to an election in which representatives of all dioceses participate, as in the The Church of Ireland. Our way reflects the American democratic approach, which also recalls the style of our Congress.

Our election then will be ratified by a majority of diocesan bishops and Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church. This is because all bishops are a part of and responsible to a greater whole, The Episcopal Church, in which they participate in its life and governance. When such consent is obtained, a date is set with the Presiding Bishop for consecration of the bishop-elect. At present, consecration of the bishop-elect is tentatively planned for 23 January 2010 in Savannah, the See City. All bishops are invited to participate in the consecration. A minimum of three is required by ancient canon, the Presiding Bishop normally being the chief consecrator. Oftentimes many more attend.

We would all do well to review the liturgy or the Ordination of a Bishop beginning on page 512 of the Book of Common Prayer. We will find therein what really is expected of our Bishops.

+ HW Shipps
Pray today for the Holy Spirit to be felt in a mighty way in the electing convention and for God's will to be done. Results will be posted as they are available online at

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