As a larger percentage of the active members of the House of Bishops completes the three-year program in formation for new bishops called “Living Our Vows,” the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews, director of the Presiding Bishop’s Office of Pastoral Development, believes the number of deposition threats and inter-diocesan conflict among bishops will start to decline.
Bishop Matthews spoke with The Living Church shortly after the conclusion of the five-day residency training. The remainder of the annual curriculum consists of monthly coaching sessions for a three-year period after consecration. The program became mandatory for new bishops after the 75th General Convention in 2006.
By the end of 2009, Bishop Matthews estimates that one half of the 130 active bishops will be involved in the College for Bishops’ program.
“I am hopeful that we are encouraging our bishops to have a greater sense of community awareness and commitment while they exercise their prophetic role,” he said. “Oftentimes a prophet works outside the community.”