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Bishop Beckwith calls for the election of the next Bishop of Newark

Episcopal House

Dear members of the Diocese of Newark,

Earlier today I informed the Standing Committee of the Diocese and the Diocesan staff that I am calling for the election of the next Bishop of Newark. Given that the search and call of a bishop takes 18 months, the Presiding Bishop’s office has set a date of September 22, 2018 for the consecration of the 11th bishop of the diocese, shortly after I turn 67. When I came to the diocese as bishop, I had made a commitment to my family and myself that I would serve as Diocesan Bishop for ten years. It will end up being nearly twelve. I intend to be fully engaged as Bishop until the time of my successor’s consecration.

It has been an enormous privilege to serve as Bishop of this extraordinary diocese for the past ten years. The gift of serving the people and congregations of the Diocese of Newark has been an incredible blessing to me. I have learned so much about God, God’s people and myself. I have been cherished and challenged; and I have been warmly welcomed and cautiously greeted – all of which is part and parcel of what it means to be a vital community of faith.

I look forward to continuing the journey with you for the next year and a half. We have much to do as God’s people – as we listen to scripture, each other, our communities and the Holy Spirit to help us fashion a new way of living, grounded in the Gospel and rooted in our faith. The collective energy generated from Going Local clergy and congregations, from the fall Listening Tables, from Diocesan Convention and from the growing commitment to engage in disciplined listening, says to me that more and more people and congregations are shaping and being shaped by the journey. We are learning as we go – all the while inviting others to join and offer their creativity and imagination. My hope and prayer is that the process of electing the next bishop will be an invitation to join the diocese on this journey of Joining God in Shaping our Future, offering his or her gifts and wisdom as we continue to see what God is up to.

I don’t have any definitive plans after September 22 of next year, other than to have more available time to be a grandfather and get to Fenway Park. That said, my continuing experience here in the diocese has inspired me to discern new ways of joining God in God’s work. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for learning – here in this diocese, how important that has become.