Bishop Coadjutor Election Hub

Letter from the Rev. Clayton Elder, Chairman of the Search Committee for the Bishop Coadjutor Election

Beloved People of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas,

It is my blessing and honor to greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as the President of the Standing committee for the Diocese of Dallas, and as the Chair of the Search Committee for the Bishop Coadjutor.

Following Bishop Sumner’s call for the election of a Bishop Coadjutor, the Standing Committee, who is charged with designing and holding the election of a bishop, and following the canons of the Diocese of Dallas, elected me as the chair of the Search Committee, and entered, with the Executive Council, the nominations, discernment, and election process for the committee.

Before discerning began, and upon the recommendations from The Episcopal Church, the Standing Committee interviewed and chose The Very Rev. Ronald Clingenpeel as our Election Consultant, a general practice for all Bishop elections in the Episcopal Church.  Fr. Clingenpeel brings over twenty years of experience to this role and is well acquainted with Texas as he served Dallas in our last Bishop’s election, and most recently served in the Diocese of West Texas for their own Bishop Coadjutor process.

With the Chair and Consultant in place, the Executive Council and Standing Committee followed a democratic process of generating nominees, taking time for discernment, and electing by majority vote their canonically allotted positions (Executive Council – 6 clergy and 6 lay, Standing Committee – 4 clergy and 4 lay).  By God’s grace, the organically nominated, democratically elected, and Holy Spirit-inspired committee (listed below) represents each convocation in both clergy and lay membership. 

Please welcome and lift up in daily prayer the following Holy Spirit-gifted followers of Jesus Christ who will devote their time and talents to a process of hard work, prayer, and holy listening to you, each other, and our Lord for the purposes of presenting a slate of candidates to the Diocese of Dallas for the Bishop Coadjutor election on May 3rd, 2025. 

Clergy

Mtr. Samira Page – Gateway of Grace, Dallas – Central Convocation

Fr. David Houk – St. John’s, Dallas – Eastern Convocation

Dcn. Mark Hall – St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Dallas – Eastern Convocation

Mtr. Cynthia Moore – St. Mark’s, Mt. Pleasant – Northeastern Convocation

Mtr. Kate Smith – St. Paul’s, Prosper – Northern Convocation

Fr. Noe Mendez – Santa Natividad, McKinney – Northern Convocation

Fr. Andrew Van Kirk – St. Andrew’s, McKinney – Northern Convocation

Fr. Perry Mullins – St. Peter’s, McKinney – Northern Convocation

Fr. Ian Hyde – Good Shepherd, Terrell – Southern Convocation

Fr. Sam Adams – St. Augustine’s, Dallas – Western Convocation 

Lay

Mr. Matt Lewis – Church of the Incarnation, Dallas – Central Convocation

Mrs. Stevi McCoy – Transfiguration, Dallas – Central Convocation

Mr. Tony Briggle – St. Michael and All Angels, Dallas – Central Convocation

Mrs. Adele Ichilian – St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Dallas – Eastern Convocation

Mrs. Cathleen Dolt – St. James, Dallas – Eastern Convocation

Mrs. Lee Spence – St. Dunston’s, Mineola – Northeastern Convocation

Mr. Lance Taylor – St. Philip’s, Frisco – Northern Convocation

Mrs. Jolayne LaCour – St. David of Wales, Denton – Northern Convocation

Mr. Hal Richards – Good Shepherd, Terrell – Southern Convocation

Mrs. Wendy Skorburg – Good Shepherd, Cedar Hill – Western Convocation

With the Committee selected, and our opening retreat and meeting set for the weekend of May 31st – June 1st, 2024, our next steps will be to discern a framework and timeline for the process, set subcommittees, and begin the listening process with you, Bishop Sumner, and our Lord for the purposes of creating a profile for our next Bishop Coadjutor. 

Until then, I invite you to join me in praying the following prayer for our Bishop, our Search Committee, and our Diocese as we discern together who the Lord is calling to be our Bishop Coadjutor. 

In Christ,

Clayton+

Chair of the Search Committee

Heavenly Father, to Whom all the Saints in heaven and earth adore and bend the knee: Look graciously on your Church and pour out your Holy Spirit upon our Bishop, the Search Committee, and the Delegates who will choose a bishop for this diocese, to feed and tend the flock of Christ and exercise without reproach the high priesthood of this calling. Grant that they, and we may have all wisdom and discernment; a spirit of revelation and the knowledge of your will, and the confidence in your guidance in the decision to be made; through him who is the shepherd and bishop of our souls, even Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord. Amen.

-       Compiled by The Rev. Matthew S.C. Olver, Ph.D.

Letter From the Standing Committee

Beloved in Christ,

On Wednesday, April 17, Bishop George Sumner called for the election of a bishop coadjutor for the Diocese of Dallas. Our bishop coadjutor will serve alongside Bishop Sumner until he retires, and then succeed him as our eighth diocesan bishop.

The electing convention will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2025 – two weeks after Easter – at a time and location to be announced.

This week, the Standing Committee unanimously appointed Father Clayton Elder to serve as chairperson for the Search Committee. As the outgoing President of the Standing Committee, his continued work in this new role will ensure a seamless continuation of the election process.

In the coming weeks, the Standing Committee will choose and begin to work alongside a consultant from the Episcopal Church to ensure that our process and timeline follows all the right steps and best practices for seeking a new bishop.

Then, Fr. Elder will work closely with the Executive Council and Standing Committee to form the Search Committee, made up of twenty voting members – six clergy and six lay persons appointed by the Executive Council as well as four clergy and four lay persons appointed by the Standing Committee. The Chancellor serves as an additional ex-officio member. We will appoint a Transition Committee at a later date.

Over the next year, the Search Committee will listen, pray, build a profile, accept nominations, and discern a slate of 3-7 nominees that they will present to the diocese for election. Then, during Lent, we will enter into a period of intentional discernment together and meet the nominees.

The Standing Committee and Search Committee are committed to regular communication and transparency. We will send updates by email and post information on a forthcoming website that will be the hub for us to participate in the work of discernment over the next year.

We believe that this search process is an opportunity for us to come together – to hope and dream cooperatively about our future, to discern with honesty our own identity as a diocese, and to pray for God to send us a pastor who will continue to lead us into the future faithfully.

Participate in this shared discernment with open hearts, hope, and joy. And in the meantime, please keep our diocese, Bishop Sumner, and all our leaders in your prayers.

In Christ,

The Standing Committee

of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas

Father Clayton Elder

Lee Spence

Father Perry Mullins

Jolayne La Cour

Father Terry Reisner

Tom Graves

Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one: Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit, that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Bishop George Sumner's Letter to the Diocese

William Hobart Hare

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in our risen Christ. I am writing to inform you that I have asked the Standing Committee to begin the process of discernment leading to the election of a Bishop Coadjutor. He or she would assist me in episcopal oversight, to include both a share of episcopal visitation and administrative work usually assigned to a Canon to the Ordinary, until such time as I retire and the coadjutor becomes diocesan. I have spoken with Bishop Todd Ousley at the national church. There would be an election in 2025. After the consecration, Bishop Michael Smith, to whom I am immensely grateful, would return to being an assistant bishop.

Of course I have no role in the electoral process, other than praying! Father Clayton Elder, president of the Standing Committee, will be explaining to you what happens next, canonically and practically.

Part of our Christian lives is always to discern the right time. First, while we have our challenges, I believe we as a diocese are in a solid position. Second, a year ago, I led a Lenten series called ‘Being Old and Being Christian’, which I now need to apply to myself, as I think about the next phase of leadership. Third, we would benefit from the perspective and energy the new bishop would bring.

I know that a great deal of attention now moves rightly to the electoral process. But I will continue working assiduously on all the on-going diocesan projects we have begun together. These include Church planting, supporting our Cairo missionaries, an annual lecture on theology and AI, the new Spanish offerings for the Stanton Institute, filling vacancies, and helping smaller congregations collaborate. The work of standing bodies such as the Commission on Ministry continues apace. Stephanie and I continue to enjoy visitations.

Expressing my gratitude to you all is for another day further down the road. Most importantly, we all press on day by day toward the goal of the prize of the upward call in Jesus Christ.

Peace

+GRS

Bishop George Sumner's Letter to the Diocese En Espanol 

William Hobart Hare

Quieridos Hermanos y Hermanas,

Saludos en nuestro Señor resusitado.  Yo escribo para anunciar que he pedido el Comite permanente para commencer el proceso de discernir pora elección de un obispo coadjutor.  El o ella va asistirme en el trabajo de vigilancia.episcopal . incluye compartir en la visitacion y la administracion de un canon ordinario, hasta yo me jubilee y el coajutor sea obispo. He hablado con Obispo Todd Ousley. De la iglesia nacional. Hara una elección en 2025.  Despues de la consecracion, Obispo Michael Smith, a quien estoy agradecido, va a regresar como un obispo asistente.

Por sopuesto no voy a participar en este porceso proximo, excepto orar!  Padre Clayton Elder va a explicar lo que seguie por ustedes, sobre los canones y prarcticamente.

En nuestras vidas critianas, necesitamos discernir el tiempo derecho.  Primero, aunque temenos desafíos varios, generalmente estamos en un lugar fuerte. Secundo, hace un año, enseñe un curso llamado ‘ser viejo y ser un Cristiano.’ Ahora necesito aplicarlo en mi vida, sobre la temporada proxima del mnisterio.  Tercero, la perspectiva nueva de un lider nuevo ayudarianos.

Entiendo que ahora mucha atencion va a dirigirse al proceso de la elección. Pero voy a continuar a trabajar continualmente en todos los projectos los que hemos comenicido. Ellos incluyen plantar una iglesita, apoyar nuestros misioñeros en Cairo, una lectura sobre IA y teologia, el programa nuevo en Español de enseñaza, llenar posiciones de las paroquias, y ayudar congregaciones pequeñas para compartir. El trabajo de comites permanentes continuan, especialmente de la vocación, a Stephanie yo gustan visitar congregaciones mucho.

Agradecidos son por un otro dia en frente. mas importantemente, nosotros proseguimos hasta el fin de la primera del llamado de arriba en Jesus Cristo.

Paz,

+GRS