After Bishop Wayne's announcement, the process to call Missouri's 11th Bishop begins
Following a period of discernment, prayer, and conversation with his family and colleagues, Bishop Wayne Smith announced his intention to resign as bishop and set in motion the process to call the eleventh bishop diocesan of Missouri.
At a four hour meeting of Standing Committee on Thursday, April 26, he shared his letter to the diocese which begins, "It is with a whirlwind of emotions that I write this letter, for no ministry have I loved more than serving as the Tenth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri..."
Bishop Todd Ousley is the Episcopal Church's bishop for the Office of Pastoral Development and one of his responsibilities is to "provide oversight of the bishop search processes churchwide, which includes providing materials and support for the bishop election process." Bishop Todd worked with Standing Committee at their meeting and was also at the bishop's staff meeting the next morning.
After that meeting, Bishop Wayne's letter was sent to Missouri clergy and vestry leadership, parish communicators, and diocesan group and task force leadership.
The Standing Committee is now in charge of the search process. They'll work with a consultant who has been trained in bishop transitions by the Episcopal Church. Guided by the canons of the diocese and wider church, and best practices, their work will include setting up a timeline, creating the position announcement and diocesan profile, creating the (at least) two working committees (Search and Nomination, and Transition), among other tasks large and small.
As the Standing Committee begins its work, it will report out about process and progress to the diocese. We've set up an area of "Bishop Search" pages at diocesemo.org. Right now, it's a bare bones affair until the Standing Committee gets up and running. The Committee's next tasks are interviewing, selecting, and beginning work with the consultant.
The election of the 11th Bishop of Missouri will occur at diocesan convention in 2019, scheduled for Nov. 22-23 in St. Louis. The Ordination, Consecration, and Installation of the next bishop, when the crozier passes from the 10th to the 11th bishop, will take place in Spring (likely April) of 2020.