Traditionally, during the process of a bishop search and election, Walkabouts are a time for the candidates to learn about the diocese, and for the people of the diocese to learn more about the candidates. With the pandemic, in place of Walkabouts, the Transition Committee will host virtual Candidate Conversations on Zoom. Candidate Conversations were held April 12-14, 2021 and videos of the morning panel discussions for each day are available at the links below. For more information about the format of Candidate Conversations, view the FAQs below at this link.
In the first session, the candidates answered the following questions:
Question #1: Please tell us of three important milestones in your faith journey, and please share with us how these may have impacted your leadership style.
Question #2: The final resolution of our property dispute with the disassociated diocese may yet be relatively far off in our future. How do you envision your relationship with the disassociated congregations and their lay and clergy leadership?
Question #3: Our present Diocesan staff (of 3 persons) for the last nine years has been pulling the “Lion’s share” of daily duties as part-timers. How do you as the full-time Bishop envision staff development going forward? What new positions and responsibilities would you create to enhance and support the Diocese early on in your tenure?
Question #4: What plans or programs have you developed that address and promote inclusion (LGBTQ) and diversity (African American, Asian, Hispanic, etc.) in the parishes that you served as a priest? What would your strategic plan look like for the Diocese of South Carolina moving forward with regard to respecting the dignity of every human being as outlined in the Baptismal Covenant?
Question #5: In “The Examination” portion of the liturgy “The Ordination of a Bishop” you will be asked, “Are you persuaded that God has called you to the office of bishop?” Specifically, please share how you are persuaded of God’s call upon you to this office.
In the second session, the candidates answered the following questions:
Question #1: Over the last nine years without a full-time Bishop overseeing the diocese, lay leaders of dispossessed congregations have commendably and heroically stepped up to create new missional works. What is your advice to clergy who want to join those congregations in a role of shared leadership? What is your vision and understanding of a proper balance of lay and a clergy leadership in congregations?
Question #2: What advice or counsel would you give to a historically African American church in our Diocese that is following a call to be “The African American church” in a mostly Caucasian diocese, while also discerning a call to build a welcoming and inviting congregational growth plan? What experiences have you had in working with minority congregations (African-American, Asian and Hispanic, etc.) as well as race relations and social justice?
Question #3: Can you offer examples of ways you have taken your faith into the public square? If elected, what do you see as the bishop’s role in matters of social justice?
Question #4:Which theologian has most informed your theological framework, and why? Which of their works has impacted you most deeply and consistently, and why?
In the third session, the candidates answered the following questions:
Question #1: Given continued population growth in our diocese, as well as the development of many new residential developments, what should our diocese do about planting new congregations? Please describe some successful strategies of church planting that you have observed and/or experienced.
Question #2: Since you have come to know us a bit more during this process, what do you perceive to be the greatest challenges our diocese is currently facing? And how might your background and experience in ministry thus far help us to address them?
Question #3: Given the divisive political and social climate of our times, how do you see yourself leading our diocese toward a model that fosters unity while recognizing profound differences?
Question #4: Small congregations in our diocese are often “under-resourced.” Some in the outlying areas, especially away from the more populated coast, at times feel disconnected from the life of the diocese. Can you suggest ideas and strategies that you have seen or initiated that would not only encourage, but also empower, smaller congregations?
Candidate Conversations are the main instrument of discernment we are using in the search for our next Bishop. These Conversations have been organized by the Transition Committee to provide a forum for the people of the diocese to hear directly from the candidates about issues affecting our common life, and to help the candidates learn more about what matters most to people in the diocese.
These Conversations, scheduled April 12-14th, will consist of a series of morning panel discussions and early evening “breakout” sessions. In the morning panel discussions, each candidate will have the opportunity to respond in turn to questions asked by the moderators. The evening “breakout” sessions will be more informal opportunities to spend time with each candidate.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, all of the events will be held virtually. During the morning panel discussions, candidates will be asked questions that have been submitted in advance. In the evening breakout sessions, candidates will be asked a mix of questions submitted in advance and questions that are submitted during the session by online attendees.
Please note: all of the Candidate Conversations are open to anyone who would like to attend.
All people of the diocese, whether serving as delegates to the electing convention or not, are invited to submit questions to the Transition Committee that can be asked of the five candidates during the upcoming Candidate Conversation events.
Questions should not be specific to any particular candidate, but should be able to be asked of all candidates to answer in a panel-like setting. There is no limit to how many questions may be submitted by an individual. Members of the Transition Committee will review all questions and determine which questions of the candidates will be posed at the events in April. Submit your question using this form. All questions must be submitted by Tuesday, March 23, 2021.
Candidate Conversations will take place from April 12th-14th.
Each day will follow the same basic schedule; all events will take place on Zoom:
On Wednesday, April 14, the youth of the diocese will close the Candidate Conversations with Compline at 8 pm.
Each morning’s panel discussion will be recorded, and the recordings will be available on the Diocesan YouTube page; the links will also be up on this website shortly after the end of each session.
The Daily Office services are open to all on Zoom.
Additional materials about each candidate can be found on this website at this page. On this page you will find the names of each candidate; on each candidate page, there is a short biography provided by each candidate, as well as an introductory video, resume, and essay answers submitted to the Search Committee as part of the application process. Each candidate recently participated in an in-depth, one-on-one interview with Search Committee member, Elsa McDowell. The videos of these interviews can be found on the Diocesan YouTube page on the Candidate Interview playlist at this link.
The morning panel discussions will be about two hours in duration. The panel discussions will be recorded and made available to any who wish to view them later on this website and the Diocesan YouTube page at this link.
The evening breakout sessions will be 2.5 hours in duration (roughly 30 minutes per candidate per breakout session). The evening sessions will not be recorded.
All portions of the Candidate Conversations, including all of the Daily Office services, are open to anyone who would like to attend. Canonically-resident clergy and lay delegates to the electing convention are strongly encouraged to attend.
There is no attendance limit. You are invited to attend as many as you would like.
The Candidate Conversations will take place using the Zoom platform. You do not need to sign up or register in advance. All who register for the Electing Convention as a delegate or visitor will receive emails about upcoming events and links to all Zoom sessions. The Zoom link is available below (it is the same for all three days). The links will also be available in the mobile phone app for the Diocese of South Carolina. Learn more about the Bishop Election App at this link.
The following will be the same information to log into the any and all of the three-day Candidate Conversation events (this includes morning panel discussions, evening breakout sessions, and all Daily Office events).
Join Zoom Meeting for the Candidate Conversations at this link:
Meeting ID: 891 0367 6508
Click link above, or dial the following number and enter the information above: +1 646 876 9923
If you use the links provided above, you should not need to enter a Meeting ID or passcode. If you should need it, this information is provided above. However, if you do not already have a Zoom account, you will be asked for your name and email address to join the Candidate Conversation.
No, you do not need to set up a Zoom account in order to participate as an attendee. If you do not have a Zoom account, you will be prompted to enter your name and email address before joining a Candidate Conversation.
You will need a smartphone, tablet or computer with an internet connection.
The morning panel discussions will be recorded. Those recordings will be available on the Diocesan YouTube page, and will also be posted to the Diocesan Bishop Search website and other Diocesan social media platforms.
Yes, during the evening breakout sessions, there will be an opportunity to submit questions through the Zoom Chat feature.
Due to time limits, not every question that is submitted will be asked and answered.
Each morning’s panel discussion will include several questions submitted by the people of the diocese in advance. The deadline to submit a question was March 23.
At the evening breakout sessions, the moderators for each room will have questions ready to begin the discussion, but there will also be an opportunity to submit questions to the moderator using the chat function on Zoom.
To submit a question, please go to the Chat icon at the bottom of your screen in Zoom. If you are using Windows or MacOS, it is a white speech bubble icon on a black background, labeled Chat. When you click on the Chat icon, you will be able to submit a question for consideration by the moderator of the breakout room (each breakout room will have its own moderators).
Due to time limits, not every question that is submitted will be asked and answered. Visit the Zoom Help Center to learn more.
Yes. When you post a question using the Chat function on Zoom, the question is visible to all participants.
If you would like your question to remain anonymous, you have the option of sending your message privately to the Question Sorter. If you send a private message to the Question Sorter, then only the Question Sorter will see your question.
The morning panel discussions will be recorded. Those recordings will be available on the Diocesan YouTube page, and will also be posted to this Diocesan Bishop Search website and other Diocesan social media platforms.
Review the Diocesan Profile — Read what drew the candidates into discernment.
Learn about the candidates — Read the candidates’ essays and resume, and watch their brief introductory videos.
Pray — Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for the candidates, the diocese, and those who will choose our next bishop.