Why attend a Walkabout?
by Debbie Nelson-Linck,
Bishop Search Committee Chair
At a glance, you immediately notice that the three nominees for the 11th Bishop of the diocese of Missouri are very different. Historically, this is the most diverse slate ever put forward.
The Search/Nominating committee was charged with naming a slate of 3-5 qualified nominees for the November convention. This great task began with the holy listening sessions. The data gathered from these sessions, coupled with the on-line survey laid the foundation for identifying persons qualified to meet the specific needs of the diocese. The three individuals that now appear on our slate are the result of months of reading applications, interviewing, discussing, vetting and prayer. What happens now is a continuation of the listening sessions begun in February.
The Transition team has scheduled “Walkabouts” beginning Nov. 4-7. This is a special opportunity to meet and learn more about the nominees on the slate. The Walkabouts are four gatherings that allow people in the diocese to ask questions and hear the voices of the nominees as they share themselves and their vision for our diocese. The discernment process is two way, it begins with a call for the nominees. They are drawn to a specific place by the prayer sent out in the form of a profile. The people discern, through common listening, who best meets our needs and will lead us forward in the next season of our journey in the church.
This decision is not one to be taken lightly. Before the election in November, take time to do your homework. Look at the short videos on the diocesen web page, read carefully through the nominees’ resumes, learn as much as you can about each nominee offering themselves to our diocese. Take time to attend one or more of the Walkabouts; they will offer a more well-rounded look at the nominees. All are welcome, not just convention delegates and clergy.
Don’t stop at first glance, take a closer look, then discern. Listen with the ear of your heart and carefully, prayerfully and thoughtfully help select our 11th Bishop who will shepherd us into our new season.