Hopes for our New Bishop
We are looking for a bishop who will lead the Diocese by example, especially by loving, caring for and respecting all of God’s people as a faithful and faith-filled pastor. Our bishop must be able to show the same care and regard for the smallest preaching station as the largest parish; the same regard for the poor as the wealthy; the same regard for the meek as the powerful. Our bishop must be a good listener who empowers through collaboration and delegation. It makes a huge difference when the bishop chooses to serve, has an openness, and an accessibility to all.
Our bishop represents to us a more global spiritual experience in the church that lives outside of our specific locations. We expect the bishop’s words to move us and teach us new things or new ways of thinking that are good for our souls! When he or she communicates well, leads, loves, and keeps in touch with the congregations, the bishop can open a very wide spiritual door to all. The spiritual witness of our bishop can lead us to dig deeper and go further in our search to be who God has created us to be.
We are seeking someone who has served in a multi-cultural setting and understands the needs and concerns of the Native and non-Native communities. Our bishop must be comfortable moving in and out of Lakota/Dakota, Anglo, and Sudanese cultures, have experience working with rural congregations, and be willing to drive long distances on a regular basis. This person may be a good financial manager and administrator, but more importantly, a strong spiritual leader with a vision for ministry. Our bishop must be rooted in theological and scriptural study and have a daily practice of prayer and weekly community worship.
Finally, we seek a strong leader with a vision and the ability to communicate well. We need an advocate for South Dakota in the wider church, especially in the House of Bishops. We look to our bishop to set an example of personal stewardship and model good self-care and boundaries, so that she or he is not swallowed up by the demands of the church. The bishop will need a commitment to managing his or her life to remain physically and spiritually healthy; a good sense of humor; and to be approachable and open to new ideas. We desire a humble leader, not seeking power, riches, or prestige, but focused on serving God and God’s people. Our bishop must actively address congregational concerns and remain calm in the midst of conflict. We are looking for someone whose faith in Christ exudes an infectious joy for others and God’s good creation. Vulnerability and a willingness to be loved and cared for by God’s people are important attributes for our next bishop.