[The Rev. Rayford] Ray told ENS that while Thew Forrester has served the diocese since 2001, names of potential candidates for bishop were received from “throughout the Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion.” A diocesan report said that names of 28 people had been received, 11 of those people completed the paperwork, and one person eventually dropped out.
He said there is “precedent” for putting forth only one name as candidate. In the most recent instance, in 2007, Mark Lawrence was the only candidate to be bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina. Lawrence was first elected from among several candidates on September 16, 2006, but Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori later declared that election “null and void” because of defects in six of the needed 56 affirmative responses from diocesan standing committees. Required to hold a second election, the diocese nominated only Lawrence.
Ray noted that it is standard operating procedure in congregations looking for a rector, where a call committee typically discerns a number of candidates and, in the end, submits one name for the vestry’s final approval.
Oh please. The parallels with the South Carolina process are almost nil. Mark Lawrence was originally elected out of a slate of a number of finalists, as everyone knows. He was then rejected by the Standing Committees for the first time in a huge amount of time in the history of the Episcopal Church. It was only because of that rejection that South Carolina met again in Convention and voted on one nominee. There was no original process in Northern Michigan with several nominees, and there was no rejection of the election subsequently. If in the first South Carolina election on the bishop to succeed Edward Salmon there has been only one nominee, there would have been a hue and cry down here, and there should have been had that been the case.