11th Bishop of Oregon Search & Transition

Bishop Transition Update

As you are undoubtedly aware, this is an election year. Aside from the elections that were just held for many of those who will represent us in the state and national legislatures and the presidential election taking place in November, Episcopalians in the Diocese of Oregon are electing a new bishop on August 29. Once the election has taken place, the Bishop-elect will work for a few months with Bishop Michael Hanley to effect a smooth transition, which will be completed by the end of the year.

Susie Silva-Strommer, St. Michael’s parishioner and member of the Transition Committee, has compiled a number of questions and answers about the process and shared ways in which you can be involved — most directly by submitting questions to the candidates. Please click here for a pdf of this document in English and here for the document in Spanish.

Walkabout Questions and Answers with the Transition Committee

Q: Will there still be a Walkabout with presentations by the Candidates for Bishop and a chance for people to meet them?

A: Yes and no. YES, all four of the Candidates for Bishop will be coming to visit the Diocese of Oregon on August 9-15. YES, there will be a Walkabout with question-and-answer presentations with the four Candidates for Bishop. Unfortunately, with the State of Oregon/Counties limiting public gatherings to 25-50 people (with six feet of social distancing), we will need to limit the participants invited to the presentations to elected voting delegates and voting clergy only.

Q: How will the rest of the people in the Diocese get to know the candidates if they are not invited to the presentations?

A: In order to accommodate the 360 or so voting delegates/voting clergy, we have added four additional presentations for a total of nine two-hour presentations across the Diocese. Eight of the nine presentations will be filmed and live-streamed so that people can view them at home on their computer, laptop, phone, etc. You can check the Walkabout flyer to find the dates and times of the presentations. The link for how to watch the presentations in real time will be posted on the Diocesan website, www.diocese-oregon.org. If you miss any of the presentations when they are live, you will also be able to go back and watch a recording of them later. The link to the recordings will be posted on the Diocesan website a day or so after the actual presentation. The live-feed/delayed viewing option will give people across the Diocese a total of 18 hours of questions and answers to get to know the Candidates!

Q: This doesn’t feel like it will be the same as seeing the candidates live and in person.

A: We agree, it won’t be the same. It was hard for us to abandon our original Walkabout itinerary that gave everyone in the Diocese the chance to meet the Candidates in person. The priority of the Transition Team has always been, and remains, to bring the Candidates for the 11th Bishop of Oregon to as many people across our Diocese as possible. In this time of Covid19, however, we need to honor the limits set by the state and counties, and most of all we need to protect the health and safety of the Bishop Candidates.

Q: Will we get a chance to ask questions at the presentations?

A: Yes and no. We won’t be able to have folks ask questions from the floor or via the live feed. But we are accepting questions online RIGHT NOW through June 30 on the Diocesan website. We encourage people to submit as many questions as they’d like via the website. PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS!

Q: How do I know if my question will get asked?

A: We anticipate getting more questions than we can ask even across 18 hours of presentations. There is a sub-group of the Transition Committee that is made up of both clergy and lay people who will review the questions. We may consolidate several questions with the same basic theme down to one. Some questions may be asked exactly as submitted. Our goal is to have a cross section of questions that address a variety of issues as well as representing all the convocations and geographic areas across the Diocese. In order to be able to do this, WE NEED YOU TO SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS!

Q: Is my question anonymous?

A:  Yes. The online form to submit questions asks for your name and affiliated church. This information will only be used by the sub-group reviewing the questions as we try to assure that the questions we ask the candidates represents a cross section of congregants and clergy across the Diocese.

Q: Is there a message you are trying to send about questions?

A: YES, PLEASE submit your questions. The election of the 11th Bishop of Diocese of Oregon is important for all of us. The number of people who can meet the candidates in person is limited so the best way for the Candidates for Bishop to get to know your concerns, hopes and priorities is through your questions.

Q: Will any of the information about the Candidates for Bishop or the Walkabout be available in Spanish?

A: Yes. Currently, the biographies for the Candidates for Bishop are posted in Spanish on the Diocesan website. Information about the Walkabout and the Electing Convention are also available in Spanish on the Diocesan website. Additionally, two of the presentations will be available via live-feed in both English and Spanish. There will be one link to watch the live feed in English and another link to watch the presentation with a live simultaneous Spanish translation. Please check the flyer for the dates/times of the two presentations in Spanish. The Transition Committee is also working with the Diocesan Missioners to the Latino community to sort out the best way to disseminate as much information as possible about the Bishop Candidates to our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters.

Q: How long after the Walkabout will we know who is selected to be our next Bishop?

A:  The Electing Convention will be held on the morning of August 29. Like the Walkabout, the Electing Convention has had to be adjusted to the limitations imposed by Covid-19. You can read more about the Electing Convention on the Diocesan website.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share about the Bishop Candidate Walkabout?

A: We’d like people across the Diocese to know that much in the same way that their lives have been thrown in to turmoil by the circumstances of Covid-19, so has the Transition Committee and the plans for the Walkabout. The Transition Committee has worked hard and quickly to redesign the Walkabout under what feels like almost impossible circumstances. But we will make it happen and it’s going to be great! We want people to feel that despite the crazy time we are living in, they got to know the Candidates for Bishop. You can do this by submitting your questions so your voices are heard and by watching the presentations via video (either live or via delayed viewing).

Q: What is the link to the Diocesan website where I can find all of this information?

A: https://www.oregonbishopsearch.org