January 5, 2017
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
When you gave me the honor of serving as your bishop provisional in March 2014, I pledged to spend several years working with you to discern the Diocese of Bethlehem’s common mission and update and streamline financial, governance and administrative practices. With thanksgiving for your remarkable progress in assuring a faithful future for the diocese, today I am calling for the election of the ninth bishop of Bethlehem.
In consultation with the Rt. Rev. Clay Matthews, the Episcopal Church’s bishop for pastoral development, and Judy Stark, a consultant recommended by his office who is a daughter of the Diocese of Bethlehem, the Standing Committee will soon seek members for a search committee to discern a slate of nominees for bishop. In time, the Standing Committee will also name a transitions committee to oversee the new bishop’s consecration and welcome to the diocese. Although the final calendar for the search process will be determined by the Standing Committee, I anticipate that we will elect the ninth bishop of Bethlehem in the spring of 2018 and consecrate and seat that person in the fall of that year.
During my remaining time as your bishop provisional, I look forward to fostering the shared values and relationships that emerged from our recent diocesan pilgrimage and continuing to work with you on developing a mission strategy to unite our response to God’s call. You will receive further updates about the search for your next bishop from the Standing Committee and, once it is named, from the search committee.
I continue to be grateful for this opportunity to serve with you for a time, and I ask you to join me in praying for the leaders in the Diocese of Bethlehem who will participate the search for your next bishop.
The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe