Jim Huber, Junior Warden
A number of Saint Markans have asked me about the election of a new Presiding Bishop for the Episcopal Church to take place at General Convention meeting in Salt Lake City this summer. How is she or he elected? How long does the Presiding Bishop serve? Will there be white smoke like when the Pope is elected?

The answers to these and other questions are as follows:
Three years ago at General Convention meeting in Indianapolis, a committee consisting of one bishop, one ordained priest or deacon, and one lay person from each of the nine provinces of the Episcopal Church were elected to serve as a search committee. Sally Johnson from Minnesota was elected to serve as the lay member from our province and chosen to be the co-chair of the Search Committee, and The Reverend Devon Anderson, also from Minnesota, was elected as the ordained member from Province VI. The Committee has worked diligently for the last three years to vet those nominated from among the Church's current bishops and present at least three bishops or more for consideration. Those names will be released on May 1. There is also a process for additional nominations.

The nominees will be introduced to the bishops and deputies on Tuesday, June 23, the first day of General Convention. On Saturday, June 25, all of the Episcopal Church's bishops will be locked in St. Mark's Cathedral in Salt Lake City for Eucharist and voting for their choice of a new Presiding Bishop. They will not have use of their cell phones or other outside contact devices. When the bishops have elected the new

Presiding Bishop, they will send a delegation to the House of Deputies, speak with The Reverend Gay Clark Jennings, President of the House of Deputies, who will in turn activate a group of deputies to vet the proposal from the House of Bishops and determine whether to recommend to the deputies to concur with the bishops’ choice or to deny concurrence and send a delegation back to the bishops with the deputies’ decision. If the deputies do not vote to concur, the bishops must vote on a new candidate and send that choice to the House of Deputies. Considering the deputies voted to concur with the bishops’ choice, the delegation will return to the House of Deputies with the newly elected Presiding Bishop to be introduced to the House of Deputies. Will there be jubilation? Yes! Will there be white smoke? I don't think so.