(UMNS) - The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops has narrowed the list of potential nominees for membership on the Commission on the Way Forward from over 300 persons to 29. The group includes 8 bishops, 13 clergy, and 8 laity who are representative of our global connection and theological diversity.
Letters have been sent to those individuals informing them they have been nominated for membership on the Commission, sharing the mission, vision and scope of the work before them, as well as a projected meeting schedule. Potential members were asked to prayerfully consider whether they are willing and available to serve and respond within a couple of days.
Following those responses, the Executive Committee will make additions or modifications as necessary, and will then propose a final list of nominees by email to the full Council of Bishops for their consideration.
Following action by the Council of Bishops, individuals who are selected will receive an invitation to serve on the Commission and the membership list will be made available. These remaining steps are expected to take a couple of weeks.
The moderator team, which consists of Bishop Ken Carter, Bishop Sandra Steiner-Ball and Bishop David Yemba, will convene the Commission this fall, possibly by telephone or video conference, to begin organizing the Commission's work.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council, acknowledged that the selection process has taken longer than initially hoped. He said that vetting the nominee list, consultations and gathering biographical and contact information for potential nominees have all contributed to the time needed to complete this critical task.
“We are working to move this process forward with as much dispatch and care as possible,” said Bishop Ough. “The additional time has honored the values we have of being a global church, seeking representative voices and experiences, and creating space for the discernment of the nominees and the bishops who are guiding the selection process.”