02 May 2006

Compare & Contrast.

Below are nominee's questionaires for episcopal candidates in the dioceses of Albany and California, respectively. Read them carefully and consider the differing theological and missional commitments reflected therein. George Woodliff III has done so and his reflections and conclusions are here.
From the Diocese of Albany:
Instructions: Please respond to the following questions as briefly as possible, but not surpassing the word count specified at the end of each query. Should you choose not to answer any question, please respond to it by writing, "I decline to answer this question." In your response document, include the number and the question prior to your response; skip two spaces between end of a question and the beginning of the next.
1. As stated in The Examination of a bishop-elect on page 517 of the Book of Common Prayer, a bishop is to proclaim Christ’s resurrection, interpret the Gospel, and testify to Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of kings. In addition, a bishop is to guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church; to celebrate and provide for the administration of the sacraments of the New Covenant; to ordain priests and deacons and to join in ordaining bishops; and to be in all things a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ. Please elaborate on your understanding of each of these different roles and responsibilities of a bishop, and how you would attempt to live them out if elected bishop. (Use 1,500 words or less)
-Proclaim Christ’s resurrection
-Interpret the Gospel
-Testify to Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of kings
-Guard the faith, unity and discipline of the Church
-Celebrate and provide for the administration of the sacraments of the New CovenantOrdain priests and deacons and join in ordaining bishops
-Be in all things a faithful pastor and wholesome example for the entire flock of Christ
2. Why do you want to be a bishop in the Diocese of Albany, especially considering the current climate in the Episcopal Church in the United States? (Use 250 words or less)
3. Using the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, find what you would consider the clearest expression of the doctrine of the Trinity and identify it. Does this coincide with your own personal belief and practice? (Use 500 words or less)
4. Are there any articles of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds with which you are in anything but full personal and theological agreement? If so, which and why? In your response, please address the following questions: Was Jesus raised bodily from the dead, such that the tomb was empty of his physical being, and in his body he appeared unto his disciples until his Ascension into heaven? Do you believe Jesus was virginally conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary? Do you agree that the Persons of the Trinity are only the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and no other expression or naming may be substituted? For example, do you believe that a person baptized in the name of "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier" is validly baptized? (Use 500 words or less)
5. If you were asked by a teenager what is meant by the phrase "the Gospel of Jesus Christ," what would you include in your answer? (Use 500 words or less)
6. Under what circumstances would you authorize the use of rites for or any practice of same-sex blessing, union, or marriage in this diocese or support such rites or practices anywhere in the Church? Under what circumstances would you permit or approve the ordination or licensing of a person who is sexually active outside the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman? (Use 500 words or less)
7. In John 14:6, Jesus stated, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (NIV) What is your understanding of this passage, and what does it say about Christianity’s relationship with other world religions? (Use 500 words or less)
8. Given the diversity of worship styles in the Diocese of Albany, how would you as "Chief Liturgical Officer" set the tone for the liturgical culture in the diocese? (Use 500 words or less)
9. As a Bible is presented to the newly consecrated bishop, these words are spoken, "receive the Holy Scriptures. Feed the flock of Christ committed to your charge, guard and defend them in his truth, and be a faithful steward of his holy Word and Sacraments." Do you believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary for salvation, and to act as the rule and ultimate standard of faith? Please explain. (Use 650 words or less)
10. What Scripture passage best describes your vision for ministry? (Use 100 words or less)
11. Describe your personal devotional life. To whom are you accountable and how do you live this out? (Use 500 words or less)
12. Detail your commitment to Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 Human Sexuality, Section 3, below and your sense of its call to the Diocese of Albany: "This Conference: 3. recognizes that there are among us persons who experience themselves as having a homosexual orientation. Many of these are members of the Church and are seeking the pastoral care, moral direction of the Church, and God’s transforming power for the living of their lives and the ordering of relationships. We commit ourselves to listen to the experience of homosexual persons and we wish to assure them that they are loved by God and that all baptized, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ." (Use 500 words or less)
13. Describe your leadership style. In answering, please include two personal strengths and two personal weaknesses and how they impact your ministry. (Use 600 words or less)
14. The mission statement for this diocese is currently "Disciples Making Disciples." What is a disciple? Describe how your vision for Albany fits or does not fit with this mission statement. (Use 500 words or less)
15. Identify three characteristics of the diocese that you would seek to maintain and three that you would seek to change. (Use 500 words or less)
16. Describe your view of the mission of the Church. (Use 500 words or less)
17. Have you had the opportunity personally to lead someone to faith in Jesus Christ? Explain. (Use 500 words or less)
From the Diocese of California:
Questions to be Answered by Nominees for the Eighth Bishop of California The following questions aim at giving you the opportunity to reflect in some depth on various aspects of your experience, your character, and your conception of Christian ministry. Giving approximately equal attention to each question, please limit the total number of pages for your six answers to no more than five, using single-spacing, in 11- or 12-point type. The set of brief essays should be included with the other nomination materials and should be sent to bishopsearch@mac.com by October 1, at the latest.
1. How do you deal with conflict? Give at least one specific illustrative example.
2. What pastoral situations make you most uncomfortable? Why?
3. What has been for you the most valuable learning experience in ministry outside of your current primary ministry?
4. Tell us about a difficult situation in your ministry which you felt you did not resolve very successfully. In retrospect, what would you have done differently?
5. Based on your reading of the diocesan profile: A. what do you see as your greatest challenge as the bishop of California? B. what excites you most about the position?
6. What have you found most compelling in Christ’s call to you? How is this related to your interest in becoming the bishop of California?


Blogger Thunder Jones said...

Shouldn't many of Albany's questioned be dealt with in the aspirant process? I know it isn't, but that would be the place to do it...

03 May, 2006 12:29  

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