Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Two Nominees by Petition in Minnesota Bishop Election

Form The Living Church-

Two priests in the Diocese of Minnesota have agreed to stand for possible nomination by petition as their diocese seeks its ninth bishop.

The Rev. Doyle Turner, rector of Trinity Church, Park Rapids, and the Rev. Doug Sparks, rector of St. Luke's, Rochester, will undergo background checks before the standing committee decides whether to certify them as nominees by petition.

The diocese requires that a nominee by petition—which it also calls a nominee from the floor—must be supported by at least 24 clergy or lay delegates in the diocese.

If approved by the standing committee, the priests will join a three-person slate announced by the diocese on August 1.

The Rev. Kathryn Jeffrey mentioned the two priests on her "Anglicat" blog on Aug. 17, three days after the filing deadline for nominees by petition. She has provided background information on both priests on another website.

At the website of Trinity Church, Fr. Turner has posted his answers to six questions that the diocese's search committee asked of bishop nominees.

Fr. Turner discussed his possible nomination with the Park Rapids Enterprise.

“I prayed about this and asked a friend, ‘How do I get out of this?’ He told me, ‘You don’t’,” the newspaper quoted Turner as saying. “So I'll let the Spirit work though this process.”

Fr. Sparks acknowledged being nominated in a telephone interview with The Living Church. He said he turned in signatures from 51 supporters representing eight of the nine regions of the diocese.

“What I was most humbled by was that the people who emailed me or phoned me come from varying perspectives and concerns in the Diocese of Minnesota,” he said. “I never would have imagined, at the end of that 14-day period, being able to present 51 names of lay and clerical delegates.”

The diocese has said it will announce any nominees by petition on Sept. 25. It has scheduled walkabout sessions on Oct. 19-24. A diocesan convention will elect the new bishop on Oct. 31.

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