As prescribed by the canons of the Diocese of New Jersey, the Episcopal Election Committee for the Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey is pleased to present the Election Booklet. It contains pertinent information on each of the nominees, an Agenda for the Electing Convention, the Electing Convention Rules of Order, and information about the presentation of nominees to the diocese at regional meetings.

After a year of discernment, the Episcopal Election Committee presented to the diocese on January 28, 2013, a document entitled Report on the Nominations for the Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey, which contained the names of six nominees, along with their photographs, biographies and excerpts from questions in their direct voice. The nominees are:

The Reverend David Anderson , 56, Rector of St. Luke’s Parish in Darien, CT

The Reverend Dr. Joan Beilstein, 52, Rector of Church of the Ascension in Silver Spring, MD

The Reverend Dr. Allen F. Robinson, 43, Rector of St. James’ Church in Baltimore, MD

The Reverend Canon Melissa M. Skelton, 62, Rector of St. Paul’s Church in Seattle, WA and Canon for Congregational Development and Leadership of the Diocese of Olympia

The Reverend Canon William Stokes, 56, Rector of St. Paul’s Church in Delray Beach, FL

The Reverend Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vásquez, 60, Rector of St. Paul’s Church in Walnut Creek, CA.

Three persons have been nominated through the independent nomination process since the January 28, 2013 report. They are:

The Reverend Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo, 56, Vicar of Christ Episcopal Church in Trenton, NJ

The Very Reverend René John, 52, Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, NJ

The Reverend Canon Donald J. Muller, 59, Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Medford, NJ.

Included in the Election Booklet are brief biographies, photographs, and responses to questions asked of all nominees. We present this material for consideration and prayerful discernment by all members of the diocese, and especially those who are delegates to the Electing Convention on May 4, 2013.

. [ Download Full Election Booklet PDF (English) ] .

. [ Download Full Election Booklet PDF (Spanish) ] .


The Episcopal Election Committee has arranged a series of presentations in April when all nominees will meet with clergy of the diocese, delegates to the Electing Convention, and other interested members of the diocese. The presentations (“walkabouts”) will take place from April 22 – April 24, 2013.

Revised Schedule

Monday, April 22:

At Diocesan House in Trenton, 3–5 p.m., the Nominees will meet the Diocesan Staff (this meeting is for Nominees and Diocesan Staff ONLY).

At Trinity Cathedral in Trenton (open to EVERYONE: Laity and Clergy):
5:30 — 6:00 p.m.    Registration (light refreshments available)
6:00 — 8:00 p.m.    Walkabouts (groups of nominees respond to questions)
8:00 — 9:00 p.m.    Social Time with nominees (light refreshments available)

Tuesday, April 23:

At Trinity Cathedral (open to CLERGY only):
9:00 — 9:45 a.m.      Coffee, bagels, donuts, etc.
9:45 — 10:00 a.m.     Introductions, ground rules, etc.
10:15 — 12:00 p.m.   Walkabouts

At Trinity Church in Vineland (open to EVERYONE: Laity and Clergy):
5:30 — 6:00 p.m.    Registration (light refreshments available)
6:00 — 8:00 p.m.    Walkabouts (groups of nominees respond to questions)
8:00 — 9:00 p.m.   Social Time with nominees (light refreshments available)

Wednesday, April 24:

Afternoon: Nominees will tour various places along the Jersey Shore affected by Hurricane Sandy.

At St. George’s-by-the River in Rumson (open to EVERYONE: Laity and Clergy):
5:30 — 6:00 p.m.    Registration (light refreshments available)
6:00 — 8:00 p.m.    Walkabouts (groups of nominees respond to questions)
8:00 — 9:00 p.m.   Social Time with nominees (light refreshments available)

Please plan to arrive on time for the beginning of the program; nominees will depart promptly at the appointed end-time.


Short video presentations by the nominees on topics that they have chosen, along with a brief personal introduction, will be made available for viewing on YouTube no later than April 12, 2013; a link to the videos will be published at

Rules of Order

Episcopal Electing Convention for the Twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey, Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, New Jersey


a. The Convention shall be opened with a celebration of the Holy Eucharist and closed with prayer; at noonday and in the evening, appropriate intercessions shall be offered.

b. At, or following, each session of the Convention there shall be such worship services as the Ecclesiastical Authority may direct.

c. All Members of the Clergy and all Lay Deputies must register their attendance at each opening session of the Convention in such manner as the Secretary of Convention may direct.


a. The Convention shall be called to order at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2013 by the Diocesan Bishop if present; otherwise the Secretary of Convention shall call the meeting to order and, provided a quorum is present, shall supervise the election of a President pro tem.

b. The Secretary will confirm presence of a quorum.

c. Report of the Committee on the Credentials of Lay Deputies.

d. Report from the Committee on Rules of Order and Dispatch of Business. The business of Convention shall be limited to the election of the Twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of New Jersey.


a. The Episcopal Election Committee shall nominate all those persons named in the Election Booklet for the Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey.

b. Nominations from the floor then follow. No one may be nominated from the floor unless such person has completed a standard fifteen-year Background Check through Oxford Document Management (to be viewed only by Bishop George Councell) prior to the opening of such convention. All such nominations shall be made from microphones, must have a written nomination form identifying the nominee and the nominator’s parish or ministry affiliation, and such form must be delivered to the Secretary and verified before proceeding.

In addition, the nominator must distribute to all members of the Electing Convention: the nominee’s Ministry Portfolio (in the latest version updated July 2012) from the Office for Transition Ministry, résumé, and answers to the four questions asked of nominees in the Election Booklet. All persons nominated from the floor must consent to such nomination. Nominations shall not be seconded, and no nominating speeches or laudatory addresses shall be made on behalf of any nominee.


a. No motion shall be made or debated until it is seconded, and no vote shall be taken until a written copy with the mover’s name is submitted to the Secretary.

b. Any members desiring to speak must first identify themselves and their church or other affiliation, must with due respect address their remarks to the President, and must speak directly to the point.

c. No member shall speak more than twice (except the mover, who is entitled to reply) in the same debate or for a period longer than three minutes without leave of the Convention.


Members desiring to leave the Convention before it adjourns must ask permission from the Chair.


If any member transgresses the rules of Convention, the President shall, or any member through the President may, call the member to order; if ruled out of order, said person shall yield the floor, unless permitted by the Convention to explain or to proceed in order.


All questions of order shall be determined by the President without debate; any member may appeal from the decision, and on such appeal no members shall speak more than once without the leave of Convention.


These Rules of Order may be amended by a two-thirds vote of Convention; they may be suspended by a three-quarters vote.


a. The Chair of the Balloting Committee will:

i. instruct the delegates about voting procedures;

ii. report the results of each ballot by providing the number of votes cast in each order; the number of votes necessary to elect in each order; and the number of votes, by order, received by each nominee.

b. Upon receiving such report, the President will declare an election if any candidate receives a concurrent majority in both orders; otherwise, the President will direct a further ballot unless an adjournment is in order.


Except when in conflict with the Constitution and Canons or any rule hereof, the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings and the Convention.


Episcopal Electing Convention for the Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey

May 4, 2013

Trinity Cathedral, Trenton, New Jersey
7:30 a.m.      Registration
9:00 a.m.      Holy Eucharist
10:30 a.m.    Convention called to order; Nominations
10:45 a.m.    Balloting instructions and First Ballot
Noon            Results of First Ballot; Cast Second Ballot
12:15 p.m.    Noonday Prayers and Lunch
1:15 p.m.      Reconvene; Results of Second Ballot; Cast Third Ballot

Balloting will continue on an hourly basis approximately, until an election can be declared. It is intended that this process will continue until at least 7:00 pm.

A decision will be made by the President of the Convention as to the specific time to close this session if no election occurred; at which time s/he will announce the necessity to reconvene Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. to continue balloting.

Light refreshments will be available during the day. No dinner will be served. Delegates may want to bring supplementary snacks.

For questions about the Electing Convention please contact the Transition Committee: