On Thursday, March 15, Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves announced her decision to begin the process of electing the next bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real. The announcement followed a long period of prayer and discernment for the timing of the departure, as well as conversations last year with the diocesan Board of Trustees to begin budgeting for the process.

While a date for an electing convention is not yet set, the ordination and consecration of the next bishop will be held January 11, 2020. At that time, Gray-Reeves will be in her 13th year as bishop. Until that date she has stated that she will continue in the role with her usual “passion and commitment.”

The canons of The Episcopal Church and the diocese will govern the process of the transition and election of the new diocesan bishop. The process will be overseen by the diocesan Standing Committee, assisted by the Office of Pastoral Development and a search consultant.

Last Thursday Bishop Todd Ousley met with the diocesan Board of Trustees, the Standing Committee, Gray-Reeves and the bishop’s staff to discuss the process and their roles during the time of transition, as well as individual and collective needs.

The bishop has not yet determined what she will do following the completion of her ministry at El Camino Real, stating that she will not run for election in another diocese. She noted the need to regain balance in her personal life. The full announcement is available to read here.

“I am going to continue working as I have been, focusing on our Strategic Plan remix alongside diocesan leaders and staff,” said Gray-Reeves. “It will be important that I not involve myself in the search process, but continue to keep our diocese moving forward in the positive direction that has allowed us to accomplish so much in these years of ministry together.”

On Friday, March 16, the Standing Committee issued a message outlining the next steps to begin the transition process. The committee’s message can be read here.

A new “Bishop’s Search” web page will soon be added to the diocesan website.