Committee on Nominations Report

Submitted by: Stephen Siptroth, Chair of the Committee on Nominations

Submitted to: the 174th Diocesan Convention

I am so very grateful for the people who contributed to the work of the Committee on Nominations, and I ask that you kindly extend a warm word of thanks to each of them: Patrick Andersen, Sr. Dana Augustine (Kramer-Rolls), William Burrell, Rev. James Dahlin, Susan Hill, and Don Miller, and Carolyn George from the Executive Council, Rev. Jane Stratford from the Standing Committee, and Rev. Br. Richard Edward Helmer, BSG, Secretary to the Convention.  I also would like to extend a huge “THANK YOU” to Ellie Simpson, Communications Associate, for her amazing (AMAZING!) attention to the committee’s needs.  Ellie updated webpages, created forms, helped distribute information, and did so many other things.  We thoroughly enjoyed working with Ellie!  Thank you, Ellie!  Thanks, also, to Amy Cook and Caren Miles for all of their wisdom and support, including by providing updated information on required trainings.  Finally, many thanks to each nominee and their nominator.  The electoral process is a process of discernment.  We appreciate each nominee stepping into that process and offering their gifts and wisdom, out of love for their church, to serve God’s people in this area.   

This year’s nominations process started very late.  I was invited and accepted the role of Chair in May.  Many thanks to Rev. Hannah Elyse Cornthwaite for supporting me as I started in this role.  I started by trying to determine who was on the committee.  Not every deanery had two representatives on the committee, and identifying those representatives was quite challenging.  But the people who did come together were dedicated, diligent, delightful, and determined to make this year’s process a success.  And, from our perspective, it was a success!  We have a slate of gifted nominees for all elected offices!   

We also responded to the Committee on Dispatch’s concerns about equity in the nominations process.  Don Miller and I developed a set of recommendations to help nominees consider how to respond to the biographical questionnaire, take an effective photograph, and attend deanery meetings in September to meet deanery delegates.  These things are generally known to nominees and nominators familiar with the process, but these things are not necessarily known to nominees and nominators who are new to, or unfamiliar with, the process.

Despite our success this year, our nominations process needs attention.  In particular, gathering a committee has been a challenge.  We encourage deanery presidents to invite discernment around who from among your delegates may have the gifts and wisdom to serve on this committee.  We also encourage deanery presidents, and the Chairs of Standing Committee and the Executive Council, to take a broader look at the ways we identify, form, and mentor leaders within the diocese.  We encourage internal discernment by the bodies themselves, provided there is no formal endorsement of any nominees, which may have the effect of discouraging others from stepping forward.  Finally, there are opportunities to improve the leadership development processes so that our elected and appointed bodies are representative of the depth of wisdom and breadth of diversity of the people of the Diocese of California. 

Again, many thanks to every member of the committee, to our diocesan staff, and to each and every nominator and nominee.  May God grant us discerning minds and hearts as we all consider who to elect to diocesan offices this year.