From the Standing Committee: A Note on Nominations

Dear friends in Christ,

Last month, we wrote to you to announce the addition of a nominee by petition to the slate for our bishop election on September 30. Since then, we have received a number of questions about the different ways we have received nominations for bishop. We hope that this letter will answer these questions and provide helpful information about the process of electing a bishop in the Episcopal Church.

In most bishop elections, including ours, there are three ways of receiving nominations:

  • Nominees can self-nominate.
  • Nominees can be presented to the nominating committee by members of the diocese.
  • Nominees can be placed on the slate by a petition process, which replaces an older custom of taking nominations from the floor of an electing convention. 

The Holy Spirit works through each of these forms of nomination, and none is superior to the others. The House of Bishops includes bishops whose election resulted from each of these nominating processes, and here in Southern Ohio, we are especially blessed to have nominees who have come to us in each of these ways.

  • Three nominees— the Rev. Canon Whitney Rice, the Rev. Dr. Elaine Ellis Thomas, and the Rev. Canon Kristin White—were self-nominated. 
  • The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers was nominated by the Rev. Philip DeVaul, Church of the Redeemer, Cincinnati; Lauren Faller, St. Christopher’s, Fairborn; John Harris, St. Simon of Cyrene, Lincoln Heights; the Rev. Canon Lee Anne Reat (retired); and the Rev. Vicki Zust, St. Mark’s, Columbus.
  • The Rev. Dr. José Rodríguez was nominated by petition, a process that required six canonically resident clergy co-nominators and six lay co-nominators who are delegates to the Diocese of Southern Ohio’s 2023 Annual Convention. One of these nominators was required to be designated as the primary nominator. 

Dr. Rodríguez’s primary nominator was the Venerable Paul Scanlan, St. Paul’s, Logan. His co-nominators were: the Rev. Jean Cotting, Christ Church, Xenia; Janet Lewis, St. Alban’s, Bexley; the Rev. Emmanuel Tuyishime, New Hope, East Dayton; Anne Shuff, Christ Church, Ironton; the Rev. Dr. David Bailey, St. Francis, Springboro; the Rev. Deacon Susan Riis, St. James, Zanesville; Jim Davis, St. Thomas, Terrace Park; Susan Cissel, St. George’s, Dayton; the Rev. Jason Prati, All Saints, New Albany; Mary Evelyn Hammond, St. Barnabas, Montgomery; Dana Cunningham; St. Paul’s, Oakwood (Dayton).

Next week, we will welcome all of our bishop nominees to the diocese for meet-and-greet sessions. We hope that you will make plans to attend at least one of the sessions, either in person or online. You can learn more about the meet-and-greets on the bishop search website and sign up for childcare by the end of the day today.

Between now and the day we will elect the next bishop of Southern Ohio, we invite you to join us in praying for our nominees, our electors, and our entire diocese. May God strengthen and shield us all as we seek to do God’s will.

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, 818)

Yours faithfully,

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Southern Ohio

Dr. James Allsop, President
Dr. Elizabeth Barker
The Rev. Jed Dearing, Secretary
Mr. Barry Feist
The Rev. Canon Scott Gunn
The Rev. David Kendall-Sperry, Vice President