A letter from EEC Co-Chair Ron Pollock

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:2).

Thank you to all Clergy and all Deputies who attended one or more of the “Walkabouts” held in various locations throughout our Diocese. A hearty and sincere thank you to all the churches (Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, Trinity in Vineland and St. George’s-by-the-River in Rumson) who hosted these walkabouts and for their hospitality. Thank you to our Diocesan Staff who also hosted “walkabout” opportunity for staff and candidates alike. Thank you to members of the Episcopal Election Committee who organized a lovely opportunity for the spouses of the candidates to learn from a local real estate agent, including an overview of schools in the area, and an opportunity for the spouses to hear from Mrs. Ruth Councell about her experience moving to New Jersey and what it is like being the Bishop’s wife. God is good and so are the people of our Diocese. We are truly blessed to have so many talented and spiritually grounded folks here in New Jersey.

I would like to share a few things that may be helpful to you and your Deputies as you prepare for our Electing Convention from a resource entitled: In Raising Up of Episcopal Leadership: A Manual for Dioceses in Transition, prepared by the Episcopal Elections Leadership Project, in cooperation with the Office of Pastoral Development of the House of Bishops.

Before everything else, we commend the focus of prayer and Bible study prior to and after the Electing Convention.

Prayer: for the Church, our Diocese, all clergy and all of our people from all of our churches and missions.

I am enclosing two prayers that I hope will better prepare you and your Deputies to our Electing Convention.

I ask your prayers for all nine candidates, for their spouses, their churches, for the eight candiates who will not be elected, for Bishop George and Ruth, for the Diocesan staff, for the Cathedral, for all of our clergy, all of our people, and all of our churches and missions. I ask your prayers of thanksgiving for the work and ministry of the Episcopal Election Committee, for the leadership of our chair, Deb Schmidt, and for the continued work and ministry of the Transition Committee, for the leadership of our chair, Fr. Greg Bezilla, and finally, for members of our Standing Committee.

Perhaps you may wish to engage in further Bible Study:

Sharing Leadership: Numbers 11:16–17, 24-25a

Discernment & the Variety of Gifts: Romans 12:1–18

Sources of Recommendation & Qualification: II Corinthians 3:1–9

Jesus’ Prayer for the Church: John 17:15–21

God’s Call to Holiness: I Peter 1:13–21

The Baptized Person’s Role in the Election (Lay and Ordained):

Prayer and Discernment is an-ongoing process. Everyone has a role to play. And it is done in community.

Is “politiking” an appropriate part of your role in the election process ? If politiking means lifting up the strengths of a particular nominee, yes. If politiking means finding ways for others to know and understand the strengths and vision of a particular nominee, yes. If politiking means finding fault with those you do not support, no. If politiking means being closed to recognizing equally attractive strengths in others, no. If politiking means being closed to being led by the Holy Spirit for the good of the Diocese, no.

Finally, during this time, constantly invoke the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Prayers of invocation — praying without ceasing — that is the most important thing you can offer to the election process.

I remain, faithfully yours in Jesus,

The Reverend Ron Pollock

Co-chair, Episcopal Election Committee

Chaplain to Bishop George and Ruth Councell

and member, Transition Committee