Results of First Ballot — no election

The results of the first ballot in the election for Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey

Diocese of New Jersey – Election of XII Bishop — Ballot 1

The report on the results of Ballot No 1. Note that numbers are listed in the randomized order that they appear on the ballot.
Total Clergy
Total Lay
Total Votes
The Rev. Canon Melissa M. Skelton276794
The Rev. Canon Donald J. Muller274168
The Rev. Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vásquez164763
The Very Rev. René R. John171532
The Rev. Canon William H. Stokes375895
The Rev. Dr. Joan E. Beilstein242650
The Rev. Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo71724
The Rev. David Anderson123850
The Rev. Dr. Allen F. Robinson266894

Clergy votes cast = 193 (clergy majority = 97)

Lay votes cast = 377 (laity majority = 189)

For an election of bishop a majority is required in both the order of laity and the order of clergy.

Media Advisory: New Jersey diocese to elect new bishop on May 4th



Nine men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds from seven dioceses of the Episcopal Church will stand for election at a special convention of the Diocese of New Jersey on Saturday, May 4th, 9 a.m. at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton. More than 600 clergy and lay deputies representing 150 churches will vote in the election. The nine nominees standing for election 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 Very Reverend René John, 52, Dean of Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, NJ;
  • The Reverend Canon Donald J. Muller, 60, Rector of St. Peter’s Church in Medford, NJ;
  • The Reverend Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo, 56, Vicar of Christ Church in Trenton, NJ;
  • 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.

The text of the Election Booklet, detailing biographical information for the nominees, is also available at

Video self-introductions by the nine nominees are available for viewing on a dedicated YouTube channel:

The ordination and consecration of the Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey is scheduled for November 2, 2013.

The twelfth bishop will succeed the Right Reverend George Edward Councell who has served as the diocese’s eleventh bishop since 2003.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Opening worship service with Bishop George Councell; beginning of proceedings and first ballot; announcement of election of the Twelfth Bishop, ringing of cathedral bells, and congregational singing of Te Deum, a traditional hymn of praise. No flash photography is allowed.

A Press Conference will follow the conclusion of the election. Trinity Cathedral is located at 801 W. State St., Trenton, NJ 08618.


About the election of bishops in the Episcopal Church: Bishops in the Episcopal Church are ordained in the historic apostolic succession by the laying on of hands by bishops themselves similarly consecrated in a succession going back by tradition to the apostles, who were witnesses to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Candidates for bishop are nominated by processes involving laity and clergy of the diocese. Every church of the diocese is entitled to be represented in the voting by three lay deputies elected at annual meetings of the congregations. Clergy and lay deputies vote by separate orders, and a candidate for bishop must obtain a majority in both orders. Multiple ballots may be required to obtain a majority.

About the Diocese of New Jersey: The Diocese of New Jersey ranks sixth among dioceses in the number of churches and tenth in the number of members in the Episcopal Church. For more information click here.

About the Episcopal Church: The Episcopal Church consist of 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church traces its origins to the Church of England in the colonial era, and it is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. For more information click here.


The Reverend Gregory Bezilla

Chair, Transition Committee, Diocese of New Jersey

Office: 732.932.1278

Mobile: 609.240.1554

E-mail: [email protected]


For news and announcements about the episcopal election:

Follow the election for Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey on social media:




Videos Featuring the Nominees for Bishop Available for Viewing

Videos featuring the nine nominees for Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey have been published on YouTube and are available for viewing at the Bishop Search NJ YouTube channel:

The videos were produced by the nominees. Other than the stipulation that the video be no longer than five minutes, the nominees received no other guidelines, so these videos show their personalities, priorities and dreams for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.

Members of the Diocese of New Jersey may meet the nominees for bishop in a series of “walkabouts” scheduled for April 22–24.

The special convention for electing the Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 2013, at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton.

For more information contact the Episcopal Election Committee: [email protected]

Mission and Ministry Continue After the Great Storm

In the aftermath of the great storm, churches are opening their doors and people are extending their hands to their neighbors in need around the Diocese of New Jersey.

Learn about the status of churches in the Diocese of New Jersey:

Join the Facebook group for the Diocese of New Jersey, where you can keep informed, share information and communicate with other churches in the diocese – click here to join

The Episcopal Election Committee continues on schedule with the ministry of discernment of nominees for Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey. We ask for your prayers for our diocese and our discernment as we continue in our mission of proclaiming the gospel to all people:

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35,37–39)

Updated Calendar for the Episcopal Election Committee


(Revised January 28, 2013)


May 9th Completion of Focus Groups
May 20th Completion of Survey
July 2nd Launched Profile/Opened Nominations
August 7th Nominations Closed
August 18th First Round of Screening Completed
September 15th Complete Second Round of Screening
October 13th Complete Third Round of Screening
November – January Face-to-face visits with Finalists


January 28th Present Slate of 4–8 Nominees to Standing Committee
January 28th Open Independent Nominations
February 27th Close Independent Nominations
April 22–24 Walkabouts with Nominees
May 4th Electing Convention
August 1st Bishop-Elect Tentative Start Date
November 2nd Consecration of Bishop-Elect

Episcopal Election Committee Update

August 28, 2012.

The Episcopal Election Committee of the Diocese of New Jersey is continuing its process to discern nominees to be the twelfth Bishop of New Jersey. The committee would like to express its appreciation to all of the nominees who felt a call to this office. Our task was challenging due to the large field of qualified men and women. Each member of the group came with a great depth and breadth of background and very diverse experiences.

It was a great blessing for us to see the caliber of people who were willing to serve. Each of these people prayerfully agreed to offer themselves to this process for our diocese. The nomination/application period was July 2 through August 7. Nominees submitted an application, their current resume and their Ministry Portfolio from the Episcopal Church’s Office of Transition Management.

The members of the election committee are deeply into the process of discernment and remain on schedule to meet the requirements to present candidates to the Standing Committee for announcement in February 2013. The Special Convention for Electing a Bishop is scheduled for May 4, 2013 at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton. The Standing Committee, the Transition Committee and the EEC would also like to thank the members of our diocese and others who are praying for our wisdom and faithful discernment of these nominees. To assist in that effort, we offer the following prayer:

Loving Creator, you call us together and you send us forth to be your witnesses in all places. We ask you now to lead us, accompany us, and direct us as we seek that person who is to be our next Bishop. Grant us perception, faithfulness and joy that we may hear your still small voice. And then, give us the courage to follow as you lead us along the way. In the name of Christ Jesus who is the shepherd and bishop of our souls. Amen.

More prayers are available at our website. More details about our work to date, including the full profile of the diocese based, in part on our spring Focus Groups gatherings and survey, can also be found at

Last call for Nominations!

Nominations are open through August 7th for Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey!

Who is eligible to nominate someone? You are! How does one make an online nomination? Use the links on this website: Nominate someone or Nominate yourself.

Do you know someone whose experience of ministry and leadership qualities would help them to walk beside us as our Bishop and work with us in responding to the specific opportunities and challenges present in New Jersey?What is asked of Nominees?

Complete the online application, complete a Ministry Portfolio Version 2.0 from the Office of Transition Ministry, and send a current resumé or c.v. to [email protected]. All materials from Nominees must be received by August 11, 2012.

Nomination Period Extended Through August 7.

Greetings from New Jersey!

The Episcopal Election Committee has extended the deadline for nominations for Twelfth Bishop of New Jersey through August 7, 2012.

Do you know someone whose experience of ministry and leadership qualities would help them to walk beside us and work with us as our next Bishop, as together we seek to respond to the specific opportunities and challenges present in New Jersey?

Please help to spread the word to your church contacts and ministry networks about the Search for the Next Bishop of New Jersey!

For more information please contact [email protected].