Standing Committee Update on Episcopal Search

With the announcement of Bishop Tarrant’s retirement in 2019, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Dakota began the process to find the next bishop, a process that will take more than approximately 18 months to complete.

The Standing Committee began its work by prayerfully considering who should serve on the Search/Nominating Committee, the group of people representing the Diocese who will do the bulk of the work in the coming months.

The job of the Search/Nominating Committee consists of:

  • Working with Bishop Tarrant, the Diocesan Council, and Randy Barnhardt to establish the financial needs of the committee for the search process, as well as setting the parameters for the salary package for the new bishop; 
  • Working with the Standing Committee and a consultant who specializes in episcopal searches to create the entire process that will be followed by the Search/Nominating Committee;
  • Creating and distributing a survey for the entire Diocese about who we think we are, who we want to be, and what kind of bishop we seek;
  • Compiling the results of that survey, and then writing and publishing the Diocesan Profile, again working with the Standing Committee;
  • Creating and implementing the system by which interested priests can submit their own names or be nominated as possible candidates for Bishop
  • Receiving the names and information of interested clergy, and following a process by which the Search/Nominating Committee will choose those priests they wish to interview; 
  • Interviewing the candidates in which the Committee is interested, a multi-step process;
  • Presenting to the Standing Committee a final slate of candidates for approval;
  • And presenting to the Diocese that slate, and arranging for the walk-about interviews that will take place prior to the anticipated election in May 2019.

The members of Search/Nominating Committee chosen by the Standing Committee are:

  • The Rev. Chris Roussell, Rector, Emmanuel Church, Rapid City, Clergy Chair
  • Ms. Robin Bowen, St. James, Enemy Swim, Lay Chair
  • The Rev. Tony Buquor, retired, Sioux Falls
  • Ms. Carol Cloud Eagle, St. Matthew’s, Rapid City
  • The Rev. Deacon Marty Garwood, St. Andrew’s, Rapid City
  • The Rev. Bunker Hill, St. Thomas, Sturgis
  • The Rev. Mercy Hobbs, Rectory, Trinity, Pierre
  • Mr. Sam Kitto, Our Most Merciful Savior, Santee
  • Mr. Mike LaFontaine, St. Mary’s, Old Agency
  • Mr. John Red Bear, St. Peter’s, McLaughlin
  • Ms. Carol Smith, Christ Church, Yankton
  • The Rev. Deacon Twila Two Bulls, Christ Church, Red Shirt Table

The Standing Committee is still waiting to receive the name of the consultant with whom the Diocese will be working for the next 18 months. Once that name is received from the Rt. Rev. Todd Ousley, Bishop for Pastoral Development in the Office of the Presiding Bishop, both the Standing Committee and the Search/Nominating Committee will be able to begin the work of finding the next bishop of the Diocese of South Dakota.

Throughout this period, the Standing Committee is encouraging each congregation to include the following prayer for the Diocese in this time of transition:

 Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds and hearts of those who shall choose the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of South Dakota, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for our people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

If you have any questions, please contact the Rev. Dr. Lauren R. Stanley, President of the Standing Committee, at 605-828-3892, or