Friday, January 26, 2007

new leadership in the church

It's a big day today in Virginia Episco-world: The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will be electing its next bishop. This would be a fairly big deal under any circumstances, but there are two factors that lend even more gravity to this election:

1. The Diocese has been under the leadership of the same bishop - The Rt. Rev. Peter Lee - for 22 years. Bishop Lee is the senior-most bishop in the Episcopal Church, and The Diocese of Virginia is the largest Episcopal Diocese in the country (in terms of population).

2. Given the recent strife between the vast majority of the diocese and the handful of churches that have chosen to break away from the Episcopal Church, it would be a gross understatement to call these "trying times." The outcome of the legal proceedings over church property in Virginia will set a precedent for the rest of the country.

It goes without saying that the three men and two women who have been nominated to fill the role of Bishop of Virginia will have very big shoes to fill. The Annual Council of the Diocese - and, specifically, the voting for the new bishop - is taking place right now at the downtown convention center here in Richmond. In fact, according to the agenda, the first ballot is supposed to take place in three minutes. While all of this matters little to most people, I think it will significantly shape the tone and course of the Episcopal Church in Virginia for years to come.

1 comment:

lauren said...

ooh ooh ooh! i want to know how it turns out!! that property thing is big.