Updated 9/12/2018: Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves has called for the selection of a new bishop, following a long period of prayer and discernment. The ordination & consecration of the next bishop will take place January 11, 2020. Until that date, Bishop Mary will continue with her usual “passion and commitment.” Read her full announcement here. The Standing Committee is overseeing the transition and election process, assisted by the Office of Pastoral Development and search consultant Judy Stark.

Scroll down to meet the Search Committee, view frequently asked questions, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a bishop do?  The bishop leads the vision, ministry and mission of the diocese. Today, the office of a bishop carries with it a wide range of responsibilities, including confirming and receiving new members into the Church, ordaining and providing pastoral care for priests and deacons, providing diocesan leadership, administering the business affairs of his or her diocese, and participating in the leadership of The Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

What can parishioners do during this search process?

Pray for wisdom and spiritual guidance for everyone involved in this process. Pray for Bishop Mary and her staff as they continue to faithfully serve our diocese during this transition.

Subscribe to the weekly diocesan e-newsletter Along the King’s Highway and consult the diocesan website for news and updates of the process.

Learn what a bishop does, what the process is like, and who the eventual nominees are.  Check the diocesan website regularly.

Participate in the development of the diocesan profile as invited by the Search Committee.

What is a diocesan profile?  The diocesan profile is a document that accurately describes the diocese and articulates the call for the next bishop.  The profile will be created by the Search Committee from information gathered from around the diocese.

What is the bishop profile?  This is a statement of the qualities we hope for in our next bishop, and is created by the Search Committee in conversation with the diocese. It is posted by the Episcopal Church’s Office of Transition Ministry and made available to everyone who is interested in applying for the position.

Do people on the Search Committee have a particular constituency?  No, members of the Search Committee are charged to represent the whole of the diocese.  When choosing the members, the Standing Committee tried to balance the committee with members reflecting the diversity of the diocese including gender, age, ethnicity and the different deaneries.

Will we know the list of everyone who applies?  No. In order to respect the confidentiality of everyone who applies, we will only publish the names of the 3-5 candidates on our slate for bishop.

Who is eligible to become bishop?  Any priest who is at least 30 years old is eligible for ordination and consecration as a bishop.  In addition, any current bishop of a diocese may apply. The average age of a bishop at consecration is 55 years old. The average length of a diocesan bishop’s term is just under nine years. The average age at retirement is 66 years old; they must retire within 90 days of reaching the age of 72.

How do I nominate a candidate for bishop?  If you know someone who you believe would be a good candidate, review the diocesan and bishop profile once it is released. If your nominee fits our profile, please encourage them to apply during the application period.

Who will be electing the next Bishop?  For the electing convention on June 1, 2019, each parish will send their normal diocesan delegates and alternates. Active clergy are eligible to vote. Clergy who were in active ministry in the Diocese of El Camino Real when they retired are also eligible, unless they have requested to be excused from attending conventions. The diocesan office creates a list of eligible clergy for every convention: the bishop has the discretion to remove the names of retired clergy who have not attended the previous two conventions.

Meet the Bishop Search Committee

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
  • 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.

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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