Standing Committee 2023-2024
The Rev. Dr. Mauricio Wilson
President, Class of 2024
Vice-President, Class of 2025
The Rev. Jane Stratford
Secretary, Class of 2026
Lay Order, Class of 2024
The Ven. Carolyn Bolton
Clergy Order, Class of 2025
Lay Order, Class of 2026
Lay Order, Class of 2027
The Rev. Audrey Miskelley
Clergy Order, Class of 2027
November 13, 2023
To our siblings in Christ in the Diocese of California:
We would like to thank everyone who came to the Meet & Greets to hear from the slate of nominees for the ninth Bishop of California. Hearing directly from the nominees is essential in discerning who will be our next bishop. Doing so prayerfully, in a posture of openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, draws on the best traditions of what our Presiding Bishop calls “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”
In this spiritual process that is grounded in our relationship with Christ, we are accountable to God and to one another. We all want a fair election characterized by trust and integrity, so we ask every clergy and lay delegate to continue to pray, listen, and learn. In the context of your congregation, pray with one another, listen to one another, and engage with all of the materials submitted by the nominees and found at diocalbishopsearch.org.
It is the Standing Committee’s ministry to help shepherd the diocese through this process and ensure its integrity. We are aware that surveys and other tools have been developed to assist in this discernment. While we understand the desire to create tools for the community’s use, the Standing Committee has not approved any of these, nor were we notified in advance of their inclusion in this discernment process. Though there is no canonical prohibition for the use of such instruments of information gathering, we do caution that if they are to be used, it is done in such a way that maintains the sense of equity and Spirit-led discernment. In particular, there should be no sense of bias toward any of our nominees or exclusion of any constituency of our faith communities.
We, the members of the Standing Committee, invite you to rely on the tools of local, spiritual discernment, namely prayer and conversation. Know that we are praying for you as we continue to pray that God will guide us through the power of the Holy Spirit to elect the ninth bishop of California.
In the name of the one who redeems us all.
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of California
The Bishop Search & Transition process in the Diocese of California has reached another milestone with the conclusion of the nomination by petition period. According to the Standing Committee, no petitions were received. As a result, the three nominees included in the preliminary slate advanced to the final slate. These are the Rev. Canon Augusta Anne Anderson; the Rev. Phil Brochard; and the Rev. Austin Keith Rios.
With this step, the Bishop Search and Transition website now makes available a summary of experience, as well as materials the nominees submitted with their original application including their resumes and their responses to essay questions. This is in addition to the slate information on the Bishop Search & Transition website.
This information invites a time of discernment about the nominees and about the call for the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of California. The Standing Committee and the co-chairs of the Bishop Search & Transition Committee request prayer and mutual listening during this important and reflective season. Prayers are especially requested for Bishop Marc Handley Andrus and Dr. Sheila Andrus as they walk with the diocese through a time of personal and common transition.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2023
Contact: Stephanie Martin Taylor
Canon for Communications
Diocese of California
(San Francisco, California) The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of California announces that, after receiving the recommendations of the Bishop Search & Transition Committee, it has approved a preliminary slate for the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of California.
- The Reverend Canon Augusta Anne Anderson
- The Reverend Austin K. Rios
- The Reverend Phil Brochard
More information about the finalists is available on the Bishop Search & Transition website, including photographs and video messages.
According to its President Warren Wong, “the Standing Committee was honored to accept the preliminary Slate of Nominees from the Bishop Search and Transition Committee. We commend the committee members for prayerfully screening, vetting, and developing an inclusive pool of finalists, all of whom we feel are called to this Episcopate. The Diocese now enters a time of discernment when the clergy, lay leaders, and diocesan community will call a new shepherd to be bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of California at the Electing Convention on December 2, 2023.”
A ten-day petition period has begun effective today, during which time anyone may submit the names of additional nominees according to the rules and materials posted on the Bishop & Transition website. The nomination by petition will conclude on October 2, 2023.
The publication of a preliminary slate is a major milestone in the Bishop Search and Transition process that began following the announcement that Bishop Marc Handley Andrus, who has served the Diocese of California since 2006, will retire in July of 2024. Formed in October 2022, the Bishop Search and Transition committee submitted the proposed preliminary slate to the Standing Committee for approval.
On October 27, the Standing Committee will announce the final slate. The people of the Diocese of California will then have an opportunity to meet the finalists at a series of Meet & Greet events November 2–5 at various locations in the diocese, to be announced publicly in October. A special electing convention is scheduled for December 2, 2023 to elect the bishop coadjutor who, subject to obtaining consent from the wider church, will become the 9th bishop of California when the Rt. Rev. Dr. Marc Handley Andrus retires as bishop diocesan in July 2024. A service of ordination and consecration will take place at Grace Cathedral on May 4, 2024.
The people in the Diocese of California appreciate prayer for discernment and for support in the care of Bishop Andrus and Dr. Sheila Andrus for the remainder of the bishop search and transition process.
# # #
At the 2008 Lambeth Conference, I was honored to lead the sponsorship of a new film, Prophetic Voices of Witness, Africa, which highlighted LGBTQIA+ Anglicans in Uganda and other African Anglican provinces. Our purpose in creating this beautiful, powerful film was not only to give these courageous souls the chance to speak of their lives and Christian faith but also to give lie to the assertions that: There are no African LGBTQIA+ people; that there is no “being” LGBTQIA+, that homosexuality is a choice; and that LGBTQIA+ lives are the result of corrupt Western importations.
Powerful as the film was, I was under no illusions that the deeply entrenched evils visited on the LGBTQIA+ community, not only in Africa but all over the world, would be so easily undone. However, the news that the current Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Stephen Kaziimba, has openly praised Uganda’s latest anti-LGBTQIA+ laws is appalling and an affront to Christian faith.
Only a year ago the Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, made a historic statement that recognized the theological legitimacy of those within the Communion who affirm full inclusion and rights for the LGBTQIA+ community. And yet, now, the leader of the Anglican Church of Uganda is praising this dangerous new anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation.
It is a scandal that in most of the Commonwealth of Nations (formerly called the British Commonwealth), the core of the Anglican world, homosexual activity is criminalized. It is a further matter of shame that such criminalization is not condemned by the Anglican Communion and provinces of the Communion that contain such countries. It need not be argued that silence is complicity. Yet, for the Anglican Church of Uganda, through its Archbishop, to praise the nation’s new, draconian anti-LGBTQIA+ laws is beyond even this lamentable complicity. Moreover, it is unfortunate that Uganda’s new legislation aimed at LGBTQIA+ persons conflate numbers of abuses, such as sexual abuse of minors, with homosexuality. This area of Uganda’s legislation should not be linked to sexual orientation.
I wish to be clear: my position as Bishop of California in the Episcopal Church, and as a Christian, is one of affirmation of LGBTQIA+ persons. The Diocese of California and The Episcopal Church unequivocally support our LGBTQIA+ siblings (history). I join my voice with those admirable people in the film we showed at Lambeth 2008 to say that they are my kin in Christ. The LGBTQIA+ people of Africa should be respected and loved, not criminalized and persecuted
The following is message to the Diocese of California from the Rt Rev Marc Handley Andrus, PhD. The message is followed by quotes contributed by the leadership of the Union of Black Episcopalians – Vivian Traylor/Northern California Chapter, the Afro Anglican Commission of the Diocese of California, the diocesan Standing Committee, and the diocesan Executive Council.
April 20, 2023
Dear Friends in Christ,
On Tuesday evening, April 18, the Executive Council of the Episcopal Diocese of California, took a historic step by enabling the funding of a Canon position which I have called for, the Canon for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice.
The decision to fund the position was the coming together of several powerful strands of thought and commitment: there was an original task force to come up with job description for the Canon; an activist coalition convened by the local Union of Black Episcopalians and the Afro/Anglican Commission of the Diocese of California, a coalition that came together to present a resolution to me and the Executive Council, presenting the case for the urgency of creating this position, and the Council itself, which has doggedly worked on creating a workable path to fund the position.
I acknowledge that the challenges around racial, social, and environmental justice are vast — too vast to be carried by any one person. With this in mind, I invite us to see the Canon as one who helps all of us to connect, lift up, and stand with those in our community who are the inheritors of oppression, and who experience oppression and violence in their current lives. It is also my belief and hope that the new Canon will bring with them experience and training that will help us advance justice. Personally speaking, and as I told the Executive Council Tuesday evening, I expect that the new Canon will know more about each of these areas than I do. While I have been committed and worked for racial, social, and environmental justice for many years, I am sure that the new Canon will teach and lead me into new understandings and paths of action.
It is important for me to say a few words about the source of funding for the Canon position. Through the thoughtful work of our Finance Committee, we identified using a portion of money raised in our Expanding Horizons capital campaign. As with the Canon position, I initiated the Expanding Horizons campaign, but it was fulfilled – bringing close to $20 million dollars into new missional initiatives of the diocese, diocesan institutions and partner congregations – by a multitude of faithful people, with the expertise of our Canon for Development, Planned Giving and Stewardship, Mr. Davey Gerhard. The incredible generosity of major donors and some 1000 Episcopalians have made the new Canon for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice possible – I am deeply grateful to them all.
Thanks to the Executive Council’s decision, I am now building a task force to search for our first Canon for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice. The task force will post a job description and then conduct the search over the summer, with the hopes of filling the position by the fall of 2023. I ask for your prayers and blessings as we take our next steps toward becoming Christ’s Beloved Community.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
From the Union of Black Episcopalians – Vivian Traylor/Northern California Chapter:
“Our Union of Black Episcopalian members are thrilled to hear that the Canon for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice position is approved, and we eagerly anticipate the hiring of a great candidate.
It is our strong belief that in the Diocese of California, one of the most diverse racially, ethnically, culturally, gender and sexually-orientated dioceses in the nation, the work of this Canon poses an exceptional opportunity to grow and become more reflective of the Bay Area’s richly diverse demographics.
The Church’s work towards the realization of the Beloved Community is of the utmost importance, and we believe that the Canon for Racial, Social and Environmental Justice is an essential piece to achieving this goal.”
From the Rev Dr Mauricio Wilson, Rector of St. Paul’s in Oakland and Chair of the Afro Anglican Commission of the Diocese of California:
“The Diocese of California is committed to the ministries of advocacy for the most vulnerable among us, as well as breaking down the systems and barriers that contribute to divisions and discrimination. The calling of this Canon will help us remain faithful to this call.”
From Mr. Warren Wong , General Convention Deputy (Calif.) and member of the GC Task Force on Care of Creation & Environmental Racism; President of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of California
“The new Canon for Racial, Social, and Environmental Justice position reflects the Church’s commitment to three interconnected systems that impact our SF Bay Area communities.”
From Ms. Sherry Lund, Chair of the Executive Council of the Diocese of California:
“We look to this Canon to help us expand our vision and work toward overcoming injustice, and toward caring for the earth.”
A press release from the Bishop Search and Transition Committee
Leer en Espanol
Our current Bishop, Marc Handley Andrus, has announced his retirement, effective in July 2024.
In response, the Diocese of California has entered a time of transition as it embarks on a search process for its Ninth Bishop, whom it will elect in December of 2023. The process will continue with a wider consent process across The Episcopal Church, followed by a consecration service in May of 2024. The first part of the search process involves the Bishop Search & Transition Committee publishing a Diocesan Profile and inviting applications from those who may feel called to serve as the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese.
There will be a brief overlap between the consecration and Bishop Marc’s retirement in July of 2024.
The search for the next Bishop in the Diocese of California involves many steps. The prayerful participation of all in our Diocese is important in following along with each milestone and especially in praying.
The Bishop Search & Transition Committee members invite every person, every parish, every Bible study and prayer small group, and every gathering of Episcopalians across the Diocese to offer petitions and thanksgiving throughout this process.
We ask that you review the milestones of our journey of transition and follow along with them as you are able, offering your prayers to lift up this process and to invite the Holy Spirit to move among us.
La Diócesis de California Está En una Búsqueda de Obispo y Proceso de Transición, y Pide Su Ayuda Con Oración
Un comunicado de prensa del Comité de Búsqueda y Transición de Obispos
Read in English
Nuestro Obispo actual, Marc Handley Andrus, ha anunciado su jubilación, a partir de julio de 2024.
En respuesta, la Diócesis de California ha entrado en un momento de transición a medida que se embarca en un proceso de búsqueda de su Noveno Obispo, a quien eligirá en diciembre de 2023. El proceso continuará con el consentimiento más amplio en toda la Iglesia Episcopal, seguido por un servicio de consagración en mayo de 2024.
El proceso continuará con un consentimiento más amplio en toda la Iglesia Episcopal, seguido de un servicio de consagración en mayo de 2024. La primera parte del proceso de búsqueda implica que el Comité de Búsqueda y Transición de Obispos publique un Perfil Doicesano e invite a presentar solicitudes a aquellos que se sientan llamados a servir como el/la/le Obispa/o/e de la Diócesis.
Habrá una breve superposición entre la consagración y la jubilación del Obispo Marc en julio de 2024.
La búsqueda del próxima/o/e Obispa/o/e en la Diócesis de California implica muchos pasos. La participación en oración de todos en nuestra Diócesis es importante para seguir cada hito.
Los miembros del Comité de Búsqueda y Transición invitan a cada persona, cada parroquia o misión, cada grupo pequeño de estudio Bíblico y oración, y cada reunión de Episcopales en toda la Diócesis de California a ofrecer peticiones y acciones de gracias a lo largo de este proceso.
Los líderes de la Diócesis piden a todos Ustedes que revisen los hitos de nuestro viaje de transición y los sigan como puedan, ofreciendo sus oraciones para levantar este proceso e invitar al Espíritu Santo a moverse entre nosotros.