In November 2015, after serving as Bishop for nineteen years, Bishop Keith informed the Board of Administration that he did not intend to serve as Bishop beyond May 2017. So how does the Free Methodist Church in Canada find a new Bishop? Do we throw a bunch of names in a hat, pick one and hope for the best? Or do we play a really complex game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Maybe we post an ad on Kijiji, “Awesome denomination seeking smart, prayerful Bishop?” Thankfully it is none of the above. Here is the real deal on how a new Bishop will come to be.
In January 2016, the Board of Administration (BOA) established the Bishop’s Leadership Task Force (BLTF) by electing a chair, Chris Pomeroy, and six members, Sharon Lindsay, Thomas Eng, Dan Jansen, Sabrina Jordan, Vern Frudd and Felix Twagirayezu.
In January and February input on “What kind of Bishop is needed?” was gathered from the leaders on the BOA and other FMCiC committees. At this spring’s Regional Gatherings, the BLTF solicited suggestions of names and characteristics for a Bishop-elect from all ministers and local church leaders from across Canada.
The BLTF has collated a list of all the characteristics and suggested names and they are beginning their discernment process. Chris Pomeroy (chair) has the following update, “The BLTF has received all nominations and comments/suggestions submitted at the Regional Gatherings, amounting to 174 nominations spread across 37 names, along with over 200 general comments. The committee has begun to prayerfully consider the list, study the comments and next steps. Nominations will be accepted until July 8th, to allow for those who may not have been able to submit a nomination. At that time the nominations will be considered closed. Nominations can be sent confidentially to [email protected]. Further details will be communicated on a regular basis.”
In November 2016, the BLTF will present a candidate or candidates to the BOA, who will then send out a ballot for vote. The ballot will include the candidate or candidates put forth by the BLTF, a blank for write-in candidates and a list of all ordained pastors. Vote tabulation will be completed by December 15, 2016, and the BOA will then announce the name of the Bishop-elect.
The Bishop-elect will then work alongside Bishop Keith until he/she is consecrated as the Bishop at General Conference in May 2017.
That’s it in a nutshell. While I love a good game of Rock, Paper, Scissors I have much more confidence in the Bishop’s Leadership Task Force. Please remember to keep this team in your prayers.
Chris Pomeroy (chair) is a BOA member and a member of Sault Ste. Marie FMC, in Sault Ste.Marie, ON.
Sharon Lindsay is a member of Kingsview FMC, in Etobicoke, ON.
Thomas Eng is pastor at Pineview FMC, in Cloyne, ON.
Dan Jansen is a MEGaP member and pastor at Pineridge House Community Church, in Calgary, AB.
Sabrina Jordan is a MEGaP member and pastor at Wesley Chapel FMC, in Scarborough, ON.
Vern Frudd is a BOA member and pastor at Free Methodist Centennial Chapel, in Kamloops, BC.
Felix Twagirayezu is pastor at Source D’Eau Vive, in Sherbrooke, QC.