Two Assistant Bishops
The Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss Jr. has nominated two priests to the position of Assistant Bishop of the General Church. They are: The Rt. Rev. David H. Lindrooth, and the Rt. Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs.
Of this dual-nomination Peter writes:
I chose to nominate these two priests after receiving a great deal of counsel from clergy colleagues and others, and a lot of prayerful reflection on the needs of the General Church. I am asking David and Brad to serve in split-time capacities. Each would oversee a Central Office department (Outreach and Education respectively) and help me with the work of the Episcopal office with the balance of their time. I chose these two people because of their broad support within the clergy, their leadership capabilities, and their experience. You are invited to find out more about them by viewing the background information that is provided below.
For a person to hold the title of Assistant Bishop, a three-step affirmation process is required—first with the Clergy, second with the General Church Board, and third with the General Church membership. The Clergy affirmed this nomination with an 80% positive margin in a vote culminating on November 12, 2018. The General Church Board affirmed this nomination also with an 80% positive margin at a meeting dedicated to this purpose on November 19, 2018.
This nomination is now being placed before the membership of the General Church for its consideration. In this regard, Peter writes, “This vote of affirmation by the membership of the General Church signals a powerful level of support and expressed willingness to work with these two people as Assistant Bishops. I believe in the New Church principle of as-of-self response, and look forward to hearing that response from the membership.”
Ballots have been sent out in the last week of March 2019 to every General Church member via two different methods. In either format, 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. They are asked to do so by May 24, 2019.
Our next Executive Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss Jr. will take office as the next Executive Bishop of the General Church on July 1, 2019. The position of Executive Bishop serves to coordinate the uses of the priesthood, to provide overall spiritual leadership to the Church around the world, and to stand as Chancellor to the Academy of the New Church, the educational arm of the Church.
According to the Order and Organization of the General Church, Peter has been affirmed by three groups. He was nominated by the Council of the Clergy at its June 2018 set of meetings; he was affirmed unanimously by the Board of the General Church at its June 29, 2018 meeting; he has been affirmed by a vote of the General Church membership by an 82% favorable margin.
Congratulations to Peter and we now look forward to his leadership.
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.