This upcoming Sunday October 7, after the 10:30 service and our monthly potluck, the congregants at Emmanuel Church will take part in an interactive forum to discuss the candidates for Bishop of our Convocation (the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe), where we will have the chance to tell our voting delegates our impressions. The transparency with which the process is conducted in the Episcopal Church is a model for how to democratically make an appointment.
Congregants, Clergy, and others were invited to meet the candidates and their spouses, and to participate in the "Walkabouts" conducted recently in Paris, Weisbaden, and Rome. Individuals were encouraged to submit questions for the candidates. If you missed attending a Walkabout, not to worry, the individual and group interviews were videoed, and are posted here: https://europebishopsearch.org. The Walkabout videos are broken into two sections, pre-formulated answers to 4 questions each, and finally, additional spontaneous responses to questions submitted by the audience. There have also been video biographies which were recently added.
As a participant in the Paris Walkabout, I have to say that at first I thought the group format in the spotlight might feel a bit like an episode of Survivor, but the collegial attitude of the candidates and the prayerful discernment involved helped to calm the anxieties. One thing is sure, there is no substitute for taking the time to watch the answers with an open heart and mind. My personal experience, was one in which my preconceived notions after reading the bios were completely flipped upside down once I had a chance to meet the candidates. As I sat with some uncertainty at times, I listened and carefully checked my biases while asking the Holy Spirit to help me hear the responses, including what was said and unsaid to the questions posed, because therein lies the answer to whom is best suited to be our next Bishop in Charge.
Don't miss your chance to do the same and take an active role in this prayerful and democratic process!