The search committee has completed its work in making nominations for the next Bishop of Georgia. I am among the five persons nominated and will stand for election on September 12 as the Diocese of Georgia meets in convention to elect its Bishop.
If the clock was rolled back a couple of years, I would have been able to assure you that I did not feel called to serve as Bishop of Georgia, and that I would have then readily turned down the honor of a nomination. But during that time, I had been encouraged by some who knew me well to see how I had already been involved in oversight in ways not typical for a priest, but that fits well with the central role of a Bishop. I did prayerfully consider this and have over the past 18 months had this affirmed in different ways. I therefore allowed the people who contacted me about making a nomination on my behalf to do so.
I have worked through the search committee to articulate as clearly as I could my vision for creating a team to proactively work toward clergy wellness while supporting our 71 congregations to more fully live into being the Body of Christ in their communities. Being named alongside four other well-qualified persons is humbling. It is also the search committee's thoughtful and prayerful confirmation that I should stay on this path toward the election. Full particulars on the nominees will be posted shortly at www.georgiabishopsearch.org
I do feel called to this. But I do not know whether God has called me to this election or to be the next Bishop of Georgia. I do know that God has laid on my heart a process for effecting positive changes for this diocese that I love. I will be therefore be available to the election and see where it leads.
This is extremely awkward for me with King of Peace. One would never go to an employer and state "I might be leaving in September, or I might stay around." But our relationship is more than employer and employee and I trust that you will join me in trusting God with what comes next. I am confident that if God has called me to this and if I am elected, then I am also confident that God has a plan for King of Peace and the congregation will not just be fine, but will grow from strength to strength.
The vestry has known of this possibility and has prepared for the possible future. Were I to be elected in September, I would remain at King of Peace through Sunday, October 12, with a goodbye function on the 11th. An interim priest would be hired for the year following my leaving, during which time a search committee could be formed and a new pastor hired. In The Episcopal Church, a parish (and we will soon be a parish) has a good deal of autonomy in hiring its clergy, with the Bishop providing support in that process and maintaining only the ability to veto a poor fit (which is rare). No one would be sent to King of Peace. The congregation would be involved in the decision through a search committee and through having a chance to have candidates come to King of Peace to celebrate the Eucharist and preach.
I get ahead of things only to let you know, that if I am elected, plans are in place to make sure that you are all well cared for. In the meantime, I counsel you to stay calm knowing that God did not bring us this far to leave us and all shall be well.
I ask for your prayers for the discernment of the diocese, for what we most want is God's will for this election.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Vicar
King of Peace Episcopal Church
Labels: Bishop search