At its Sept. 7 meeting, Western Pennsylvania’s General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation members adopted a set of guiding principles under which it will work, heard presentations about the work of the Northeastern Jurisdiction (NEJ) Episcopacy Committee and the process for members of the Conference to nominate potential candidates for bishop, and adopted a nomination form that will be made available in time for submission by an October 25, 2019 deadline.
Following worship and Holy Communion, Sharon Gregory, Conference Lay Leader and the senior Western PA member on the NEJ Episcopacy Committee explained the committee's role and work. Each of the 10 annual conferences in the Jurisdiction has a lay and a clergy representative on the committee. Its responsibilities include care and connection with the active and retired bishops in the Northeast and the assignment of episcopal leaders to annual conferences following the election of bishops at the quadrennial jurisdictional conference.
After the presentation, Delegation Chair Alyce Weaver Dunn led a nomination and election process for our WPA representatives for the 2020-2024 quadrennium. Rev. Robert Zilhaver was elected for a second term as the clergy representative. Vicki Stahlman was elected for the first time as a lay representative.
The “Guiding Principles” under which the delegation will conduct its work were originally written by the Revs. Eric Park and Zilhaver for the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Delegation to provide the foundation for a prayerful, spiritually grounded journey as a delegation.
The Episcopal Nominations sub-committee made the presentation about the process for members of the Western Pennsylvania Conference to nominate persons for consideration as potential candidates for the episcopacy. An Episcopal Nomination form, accompanied by a document entitled, “Essential Qualities for Episcopal Candidates,” was reviewed, perfected and adopted. The form and accompanying information will be released to the WPA Conference so that clergy and laity may submit nominations. October 25, 2019 was set as the deadline. A notice will appear in the weekly Conference e-news when the forms are available.
The delegation’s Spiritual Life Committee led the opening worship service, with the Rev. Steve Cordle offering the message. The meeting concluded with a prayer service led by the Rev. Duk Hee Han. Rev. Han invited the delegation to participate in “Tongsung Kido,” a form of group prayer often practiced in the Korean church. At the conclusion of the service, delegates were assigned prayer partners.
The next delegation meeting will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019.