The Petition Process
March 1, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
In approximately 10 days, the Standing Committee expects to announce to you the slate of candidates who will stand for election to become our Bishop Coadjutor, and ultimately the 9th Bishop of the Diocese of Florida. The Nominating Committee continues to be hard at work, meeting with candidates, and prayerfully and collectively discerning God’s will for our next shepherd. They are in the final stages of their conversations, and soon will recommend its slate for our approval; we intend to announce those candidates on Thursday, March 10 by way of the Bishop Search website. Please pray earnestly for all involved in these processes.
While the principal method for calling candidates is through the discernment of the Nominating Committee, the Canons of the Episcopal Church provide for a wider process in which all laity and clergy can join with the Holy Spirit to raise up a new bishop. Accordingly, the Canons allow for a means to nominate a candidate by petition.
The Petition Process is intended to address those situations where a person may be called to stand for election, but for whatever reason was not part of the Nominating Committee process or ultimately identified as one of its recommended candidates. In such cases, the petition nominee must be endorsed by a wide cross-section of the diocese, and undergo the same application process, interviews, and personal background checks required of other candidates. The bar for petition is necessarily high, but it is attainable for anyone whom the Spirit may be raising up in this way. Because of the availability of these steps, the former practice of nominating from the floor during the electing convention is no longer permitted; this is standard throughout The Episcopal Church.
Please find the documents and forms that provide instruction regarding the specific requirements and process for nominating by petition below. The petition period will begin when the slate is announced, currently expected to be on March 10, and remain open for seven days; therefore, the Petition Process is expected to close at midnight on Thursday, March 17.
The names of persons nominated by petition will remain confidential until the individual’s candidacy is qualified by the Standing Committee. Any petition candidate will then be introduced to the diocese in the same manner as the initial slate. All candidates, regardless of how they came to be on the final slate, will participate in our planned pre-election activities, including the May 2-7 meet-and-greet opportunities, and will appear on the ballot at our electing convention on May 14.
With prayers for the Spirit’s guiding,
The Standing Committee