This year Bishop James Mauney officially announced that he will be retiring after his current term as Bishop of the Virginia Synod ends in May of 2017. This news has led to appreciation for our gifted leader as well as for the years that Bishop Mauney has dedicated to the Church. The announcement has also been a catalyst for conversations about the process of electing a new Bishop and the transition to new leadership.
During the 2015 Virginia Synod Assembly, held at Roanoke College, Resolution 2 was passed which encouraged the Synod Council to create a process that will provide a plan for the upcoming election and transition before the 2016 Virginia Synod Assembly.
In response to that resolution, Synod Council asked members of our Synod to be a part of a Transition Team. Blythe Scott, the new secretary of the Synod Council, will serve as the leader of this team.
“Each member of this team is willingly giving of their time and talents to be a part of something much bigger than any one individual,” said Blythe Scott. “We are blessed to have such wise counsel from across the Synod.”
“I ask that our Synod keep me and the entire transition team in their prayers as we seek to provide a transparent framework for the very large tasks that have been asked of us to perform,” she said.
The transition committee is comprised of members from each conference who were carefully selected by the Synod Council:
Central Valley: Rev. Karen Van Stee
Germanna: Steve Fredericksen
Highlands: Elizabeth Smythe
New River: Dr. Jody Smiley
Northern Valley: Rev. Jim Utt
Page: Mark Reed
Peninsula: Rev. Larry Shoberg
Richmond: Rev. Lou Florio
Southern: Robert Yates
Southern Valley: Rev. Karen Taylor
Tidewater: Charles Poston
Youth/Young Adult: Maren Corliss
The first Transition Team Meeting was held on November 7th in Waynesboro where the team met with Rev. E. Roy Riley, Bishop Emeritus of the New Jersey Synod, a person who knows firsthand what it looks like to make the transition to a new Bishop.
A large part of the first meeting was devoted to understanding the scope and details of the assignment that has been given to this team. In January the Transition Team will present a preliminary report to the Synod Council which will outline the group’s future steps and tasks.
In the coming month the Synod can expect to see news and updates on the Virginia Synod website, so please be sure to stay engaged with this process – it will be important that we all stay informed as the days and months come to pass.