Three Discernment Forums were held Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29, in Harlingen, Corpus Christi, and in San Antonio that afforded voting clergy and delegates, as well as visitors, the opportunity to hear from the seven Potential Nominees for Bishop Suffragan. Those in attendance learned more about each candidate’s vision for the diocese, his or her calling to be a bishop, and they were able to witness each personality as the candidates presented their responses to a series of random questions. The Potential Nominees traveled to each location to respond to questions submitted by people of the diocese and created by the Standing Committee.
The third Discernment Forum – held at TMI – The Episcopal School of Texas – was recorded, and the video is now available here.
The seven Potential Nominees for Bishop Suffragan are (as pictured): the Rev. Lisa Mason, the Rev. Chris Caddell, the Rev. Jonathan Wickham, the Rev. Chris Cole, the Rev. Robert Woody, the Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, and the Rev. John Hill.
This was the first time the Diocese of West Texas hosted Discernment Forums to provide the opportunity for Potential Nominees for the office of bishop to travel around the diocese. The first two of the weekend were held at St. Alban’s, Harlingen, and Church of the Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi. With the third at TMI, all the forums were well attended by clergy, delegates to Diocesan Council in February, as well as visitors who came to hear the Potential Nominees answer questions.
At each location, each Potential Nominee gave a three-minute opening statement, as well as a three-minute summation. Each response to a question was also limited to three minutes. Many of the questions focused on the ministry of a bishop, the personal discernment processes, spiritual exercises and personal faith development, and current issues in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.
While the Potential Nominees each gave thoughtful responses that delivered their personal beliefs, they also complemented each other and often were in agreement, acknowledging a previous answer and building on it. In each summation, the candidates all expressed sincere gratitude to those gathered to hear them speak and also to each other for the support given on this discernment journey.
When wrapping up each forum, Bishop Reed said many people have asked him whom he would like to see elected as Bishop Suffragan. “I am now ready to give you that answer,” said Reed. “Any one of these seven will do a fine job.”
The election of Bishop Suffragan will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 as part of the 113th Diocesan Council at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi.