On Thursday, March 15, Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves called for the selection of a new bishop for the Diocese of El Camino Real. The announcement followed a long period of prayer and discernment for the timing of the departure. An electing convention will be held on June 1, 2019, and the ordination & consecration of the next bishop will be held January 11, 2020. Until that date, Bishop Mary has stated that she will continue with her usual “passion and commitment.” Read her full announcement here. The Standing Committee also released a message outlining the transition process, available here. The committee will oversee the transition and election process, assisted by the Office of Pastoral Development and search consultant Judy Stark.

Update: Bishop’s Search Committee Announced

The Standing Committee was pleased and excited to receive so many applications from qualified candidates for the Bishop’s Search Committee. The committee looked primarily at people who are grounded spiritually and have the needed skills for the work of the committee. Next we considered the diversity of our diocese and attempted to create a group that to some extent reflects that diversity. Of course, it would take every one of us to create a committee which truly reflects the diocese and that is simply not doable! We also gave a higher priority to younger people, as they will most likely be working with the next bishop in the years to come.

The members of the Search Committee are:

  • Deacon Susan Arnold, St. Barnabas’ Arroyo Grande
  • Lorenso Arcienega, Guadalupe/Trinity Cathedral San Jose
  • Deacon Lee Barford, Trinity Cathedral San Jose
  • Pamela Bleich, St. Benedict’s Los Osos
  • Matt Cameron, St. Andrew’s Saratoga
  • Jennifer Compton, Epiphany Lutheran and Episcopal, Marina
  • Win Fernald, St. John’s Aptos
  • Heather Hadlock, All Saints’ Palo Alto
  • Joe Head, St. Francis’ San Jose (co-chair)
  • Rev. Martin Juarez, San Pablo Apostol, Seaside
  • Rev. Austin Leininger, Calvary Santa Cruz
  • Rev. Barbara Miller, St. James’ Paso Robles
  • Paul Turner, St. John’s Chapel Monterey
  • Rita Welsh, St. Thomas’ Sunnyvale
  • Beth Wigen, All Saints’ Palo Alto
  • Brett Wormley, St. Andrew’s Saratoga
  • Celeste Ventura, St. Mary’s Pacific Grove

The chaplain for the transition process will be Jeff Diehl, St. Barnabas’ Arroyo Grande. The second co-chair has not yet been established.

This vital ministry will start with a one-day retreat in Salinas on June 23. The first task of the Search Committee will be to create a process of listening to the diocese in order to create the profile of the next bishop. There will be an opportunity during this time for everyone to share their views, so you will have a chance to get your perspective taken into account.

In March 2019 the Search Committee will provide a slate of candidates who match the profile of our next bishop, all of whom have been thoroughly screened and interviewed and have had an opportunity to visit and meet with people around the diocese. Read the Standing Committee’s Theological Statement and Charge to the Search Committee.

Please contact the Rev. Caroline Hall, Chair of the Standing Committee, at caro@stbenslososos.org with questions or concerns.

The Rev. Dr. Caroline Hall (President), St. Benedict’s, Los Osos
The Rev. Channing Smith (Vice President), St. Andrew’s, Saratoga
Liz Frost (Secretary), St. Stephen’s San Luis Obispo
Lisa Gonzalez, St. Benedict’s, Los Osos
Ernst Rosenthal, Calvary Episcopal, Santa Cruz
The Rev. Shelley Denney, Episcopal Church in Almaden
The Rev. Katherine Doar, St Francis Willow Glen, San Jose
John Melvin, St. John’s Aptos

Follow this page for updates and resources as we begin the search for the Diocese of El Camino Real’s fourth bishop.

Transition Milestones

Hire Consultant

Select Search Committee

Develop Budget

Search Committee Develops Profiles

Nominating Period Begins


Transitions Committee Convenes

Video Interviews

Background Checks Begin

Search Committee Conducts Discernment Conference

Candidates’ Slate Announced

Petitions Period

Transitions Committee Takes Baton

Candidates Introduced to Diocese

Deanery Walkabouts

Electing Convention

Consents from Episcopal Church

Bishop-Elect on Board

Consecration of New Bishop – January 11, 2020

View of Pacific ocean and shoreline at Lovers Point in Pacific Grove, California

Along the King’s Highway, the weekly E-newsletter of El Camino Real

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