August 12, 2015

Dear All Souls family,

We have received information about your ability to participate in the Bishop Search Process. I will apologize as this information came in email as I was heading out of town on vacation and thus you will see below one event whose time is affected. The information below will tell you how you can participate both through a survey and public gatherings to offer your input toward who we as a diocese are seeking for our next bishop. I encourage heartily your participation in either or both of these opportunities. We are a rich diocese with a myriad of gifts, graces and challenges before us. I invite your prayers and participation as we seek the next person who will serve our diocese.

Attached are two things:

1) Public conversations with the Bishop Search Committee. Entitled “Holy Conversations” these events will consist of small group conversation with questions developed by the search committee. Your input will inform what is written in our diocesan profile (the document given to candidates describing our history, our gifts and our challenges and describing what we seek in a new bishop). You will see below a listing of opportunities around the diocese including to local events: 1) Thursday August 27 at 12:00 p.m. at Trinity, Asheville; 2) Wednesday, September 9 at 6:30 pm at Calvary, Fletcher.  There is an event tonight at 7:00 pm at St. Matthias in Asheville (the event I mentioned being affected earlier).  These are open to all persons.

2) A survey which you can download, fill out, and mail to the address provided on the survey.  As well, we will print copies of the survey and have them available in the back of the church.  There will be an online survey available as of August 19 and can be found at that time on the Bishop Search page of the diocesan website (link attached below). Again, your input in these surveys will inform and shape what in included in our diocesan profile.

Any time a diocese is seeking a new bishop is a time to reflect, consider and discern where our common life has led us and to where we sense God calling us.  The Search Committee invites your tangible reflection, consideration and discernment through these opportunities. It is a rich time for us as a diocese and with the Search Committee I encourage your active participation in this process.

A Prayer for the Election of a Bishop From the 1979 Book of Common Prayer (Page 818)

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.