Updated Bishop Search Timeline

The following letter just arrived from the Diocesan Standing Committee:

September 10,  2015
Dear Beloved Friends in Christ,

Thank you for your prayers during this time for search and discernment of our next bishop. Thank you for your input and feedback which has helped the Search Committee to develop our diocesan profile. Thank you to those of you who have submitted nominations to the Search Committee. And thank you to Dr. Craig Pawlowski for the creation of this entertaining, informative and multigenerational Activity Book describing our search process.

The following is an update on the Timeline, Transition Committee and Election process in our bishop search.


The general timeline for our search will be found on our bishop search website. There is a lot going on in between those dates listed there. Between the close of nominations on September 18 and the announcement of the final slate of candidates announced on November 15, the Search Committee will be meeting nominees for a discernment retreat in October. Co-Chairs Fr Mike Dwyer and Linda Buskirk are leading a prayerful and confidential process. Their work on the Search Committee will be complete after they submit the final slate of candidates to the Standing Committee in November.

Transition Committee

The Standing Committee commissioned the Transition Committee at the end of August. While their work has already begun they officially take over the process of our search after the slate of candidates has been announced. They oversee the shepherding of our candidates (and their spouse/partner) up to and through the Walk-Abouts in January; the election process in February; the transition of bringing our new bishop into the diocese; and the ordination of our new bishop on June 26, 2016.

Under the leadership of Fr. Jim Warnock, the following are the members of the Transition Committee:

The Rev. Jim Warnock , Chair, Gethsemane, Marion
The Rev. Terri Bays – Holy Trinity, South Bend
Marie Gambetta – St. Paul’s, Munster
Tim McLaughlin – St. Michael & All Angels, South Bend
Barb Meneakis, St. Barnabas, Gary
The Rev. Ted Neidlinger – Christ the King, Huntington
Randy Powers, Gethsemane, Marion
Cindy Spice – St. Alban’s, Fort Wayne
Charlotte Strowhorn, Jr – St. Augustine’s, Gary
The Rev. Michelle Walker – Calumet Episcopal Ministry Partnership

This committee will be spearheading the various subcommittees that will carry us through the transition months. Each subcommittee will need many hearts and hands to carry out the work ahead. Please be generous in offering your time and talents as you are called upon. You are welcome to contact Fr. Jim Warnock for questions about the Transition Committee.

Election of the Eighth Bishop of Northern Indiana

At our Diocesan Convention, October 24, 2015, Bishop Little will call for a Special Convention for the Election of a Bishop to be held February 6, 2016. Electors to our October, 2015 Diocesan Convention will automatically be the electors at the Special Convention February 6, 2016 (including the possibility of registered alternates filling in) UNLESS notice of new delegates for 2016 are certified with the Secretary of Convention by February 1. In the latter case, those newly elected delegates who serve at the Special Convention in February and will also serve as elected delegates at our 2016 October convention. Parishes and potential delegate/electors should take into consideration the January Walk-Abouts to meet the candidates in preparation for the election. Please continue to look for email and website communications about the dates and times for meeting our candidates in January.

Lastly, please do not hesitate to contact the co-chairs of the Search Committee, Fr Mike Dwyer and Linda Buskirk, or the chair of the Transition Committee, Fr Jim Warnock, or me, Fr Matthew Cowden, should you have any questions or concerns, nominations or prayerful discernment about the search for our eighth bishop. We look forward to welcoming our next bishop whom God is preparing for us, and praying with her or him about the next chapter of our life together in Northern Indiana.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

The Rev. Matthew Cowden+
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Northern Indiana

Timeline for Bishop Search

The Standing Committee has just posted the timeline below for our Diocese’s search for its 8th bishop. They are in the process of creating a Search website, to which I will link as soon as I know it has gone live.

Bishop Search Timeline

(as of 5/13/2015)


  • May 14-20 Search website goes live
  • May 21 Standing Committee meets and appoints search committee (All appointees will be contacted personally and asked to serve)
  • June 12 – 13 Search Committee retreat at Lindenwood Center—mandatory (National Church consultant present as facilitator)
  • June/July/August Listening Sessions (at least 3, one in each Deanery. All members of the Diocese, Clergy and Lay, including Youth urged to attend). Link to online survey provided for those unable to attend listening sessions.
  • August 24 Diocesan Profile completed and posted, criteria for nominations set.
  • September 1 Nominations open governed by criteria set by Standing Committee
  • September 24 Nominations closed. Background checks and reference calls begun
  • November 10-11 Standing Committee receives slate
  • November 15 Slate announced to the Diocese


  • January 18-22 Walkabouts
  • February 6 Election Convention
  • June 25 Ordination of 8th Bishop of Northern Indiana (pending Presiding Bishop’s calendar) (Some convenient date after Bishop seated.