Our next Executive Bishop!
The Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss Jr. has been affirmed as the next Executive Bishop. He received 1,445 “yes” votes, to 304 “no” votes and 5 “abstain” votes for an 82.38 affirmative percentage.
Pete has now nominated the Rev. David H. Lindrooth and the Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs to serve with him as Assistant Bishops when he takes office as Executive Bishop.
Congratulations to Pete and we now look forward to his leadership, beginning July 1, 2019.
Balloting process that was followed for the Executive Bishop affirmation
Ballots were sent out in mid-July to every General Church member via two different methods. The ballots provide an anonymous “voting number” for each individual General Church member. Ballots were sent by email to any member for whom we have a valid email address, and should already have been received. These ballots provide a link which can be used for voting immediately. Sometimes, a person’s email system or email provider (Gmail, Hotmail, etc.) will filter emails into a junk email folder, so members should check this.
Ballots were also sent by the postal system bulk mail service, which of course will take longer to arrive—in the US and internationally, but has much greater coverage. Members could then respond either electronically or by mail.
If affirmed, Dave and Brad will serve in a split-time capacity. Brad would oversee General Church Education with about half of his time and assist Pete with the other half. Dave would continue to oversee General Church Outreach, although his position would be reconfigured to allow him the leave time to assist Pete with half of his time.
Effectively, then, we would get the equivalent energy of two full-time people in the Episcopal Office, as well as oversight of our two central office departments by bishops. We also get the benefit of two minds and perspectives, as well as more options for travel and delegated functions. Pete believes this model can effectively serve the General Church in its next phase.
It should be noted that there is an affirmation process underway for these Assistant Bishops. Pete's intention is for these two people to serve as Assistant Bishops, rather than the appointed position of Assistant to the Bishop. For that to happen, the Clergy, the General Church Board, and the General Church membership would need to affirm them, similar to what happened with the Executive Bishop process. So far, the Clergy has had a chance to weigh in and has agreed to this dual-nomination.
The General Church Board met on November 19,2018 in special session to respond to the nominations. After deliberations with Pete they voted to affirm, with an 80% majority supporting. The next and final step in this process is to take the nomination to the General Church membership for affirmation. This will most likely happen in the February/March 2019 timeframe.
Pete is grateful to Dave and Brad for their willingness to serve with him and with each other. Both bring strong credentials and experience, as well as deep devotion to the Word. The job at hand is to determine anew what we stand for and where we are headed. Pete believes that this three-bishop team is well-positioned to support that process.
Vision for the church and philosophy of leadership
Questions from the General Church Board
Sermons, articles, etc.
- A Little While--Sermon
- What Is New Church Education and Why Should We Care - Study
- Timeless Messages in the Word - Study
- The Ball Is In Your Court--Article
- One Lip--What Binds Us Together--Sermon
Recommendations from fellow clergy
Peter has strong pastoral experience, both as an assistant pastor and head pastor of major societies. He has strong experience in administrative positions at the congregational level and at the church-wide level, as an assistant to the executive bishop of the General Church and as overseer of the office of Education. He has lived and travelled outside of North America as well as in North America. He has a background that allows him to understand the many aspects of the complex organization that is the General Church.
Peter has demonstrated a good knowledge of doctrine and ability to organize and articulate this knowledge in effective and inspiring presentations. He presents the doctrines of the Word clearly and in a way that is applicable and in touch with people’s lives.
Peter has a good temperament for a tough job like bishop: energy, strength and interest in leadership. He thinks clearly, responds to people charitably and evenly, maintains a gentle and humble spirit, and projects good will. He listens well, seems respectful of other’s input, and carries through in the decisions he makes. He seems consistently positive and undaunted by the challenges that he is tasked with. As a leader he has faced challenging issues with wisdom and tact.
Peter can provide steady leadership, supporting much of what has been the General Church for decades now, but also has a willingness to consider what might be done differently in the future. This may help support a healthy unity within the General Church.
Peter has formed good friendships with a broad group of lay people surrounding his age. These connections and the conversations that can easily support are a good grounding for a position that could end up being a little removed from that kind of contact. Peter has also been able to form relationships outside of Bryn Athyn through extensive travel to congregations both in North America and abroad.
Peter’s wife, Teresa, has shown a willingness to travel with Peter, which is appreciated by the congregations who are visited. She also has displayed tact and graciousness that has kept her from being identified with a “position” which is valuable given some of the swirling issues of the church today.