Bishop Suffragan Search Process

 Download to print the profile 

 Bishop Suffragan Application 


In November, 2017, the Annual Convention of the Diocese consented to the call from Bishop Shannon Johnston and the Standing Committee to elect a second Bishop Suffragan. The new Bishop will become the third member of an episcopal team that includes Bishop Susan Goff, who also serves as a Suffragan.

In consultation with Bishop Johnston, the Standing Committee named a Search & Nominating Committee, whose members hope to announce a slate of nominees by early fall. After the slate is announced, additional nominees could be named through a petition process, according to guidelines to be developed later this year.

Please keep the members of the Search & Nominating Committee in your prayers as they discern God’s call for service in His kingdom.

To contact the Search Committee, send an e-mail to 

Search and Nominating Committee Prayer for the Search Process

Standing Committee Charge and Job Description Resources 



April 3 - The profile and application have been posted above. Members of the Diocese are encouraged to share the information with anyone, inside or outside the Diocese, who might be discerning a call to this ministry. Congregations may use this bulletin insert to help spread the word. Remember that the deadline for submitting applications is Friday, April 27. 

March 14 - The Bishop Suffragan Search Committee has been hard at work and has met a number of times since its formation in January. In addition, a number of sub-committees have been at work. The information gathering team held a series of  “Listening Sessions” throughout the Diocese and also circulated a survey. The Profile Committee will be publishing that document soon, and nominations will begin being accepted on April 2. If you know of someone who might be a good candidate please encourage them to visit the web site and make an application. Under the Resources button you can down load a bulletin insert to help your congregation learn more about this search. And as always, please keep this effort in your prayers.

January 13 - The day-long, first meeting of the Search Committee was held. Several sub-committees were formed, including Information-Gathering, Profile, Screening, Education/Communications and Discernment Retreat sub-committees. The next meeting of the Search Committee will be on March 3.


Prayer for the Search and Transition Process

Almighty God, Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, who calls, guides, and empowers us as your Church; Bless us as your people. Create in us discerning minds as we seek to elect a Bishop in this Diocese.  Open our ears, broaden our vision, and enliven our hearts for the work that lies before us.  All this we pray through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever, Amen.

Search/Nominating Committee for Bishop Suffragan - 2018

Chair:  Diane G. Miller, St. Timothy's, Herndon

Daniel Velez-Rivera, St. Gabriel's, Leesburg
Kristine A. Johnson, St. John's McLean
Weston Mathews, Grace Church, The Plains
Bollin M. Millner, Jr., Grace & Holy Trinity, Richmond
Dr. Megan Limburg, St. Mary's, Whitechapel & Trinity, Lancaster
Ellis T. (Tuck) Bowerfind, St. Luke's Wellington, Alexandria
Hillary West, Epiphany, Oak Hill (Herndon)

Janet Peyton St. James's, Richmond
Florence Dale, St. Mary's, Arlington
Joe Paxton, Emmanuel, Harrisonburg
Frank Baxter, Christ Church, Winchester
Mildred Robinson, St. Paul's Memorial, Charlottesville
Mary H. Johnson, St. Christopher's, Springfield
Gabriella Pineda, San Marcos, Arlington

Chaplain: Kate Chipps         Consultant: Judy Stark 

The Standing Committee's Charge to the Search & Nominating Committee

January 2018

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Virginia extends its gratitude to the members of the Nominating/Search Committee for the process of discerning who will be nominees for the next Bishop Suffragan to serve our Diocese.  This is holy and demanding work, and we commend you for taking on this responsibility.

We ask that you present to the Standing Committee three (3) to five (5) possible nominees for the election to be our Bishop Suffragan by August 27, 2018.  We expect that you will use all your listening skills, your knowledge of the Diocese and the Episcopal Church, background and reference checks, interviews and conversations to assist you in your discernment.  We also expect that you will be attentive to the behavior, reputation, integrity, possible impairments or addictions, and commitment to the Episcopal Church in the candidates for nomination.  We rely on your discretion during this process, knowing that you will keep your thoughts and conversations completely confidential, and your personal preferences, while discussed among you, not shared beyond the nominating committee at any time prior to the election in November 2018.

CANON III.1.2 of the Episcopal Church

No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons.  No right to licensing, ordination or election is hereby established.

Job Description

The second Bishop Suffragan will share with the Bishop Diocesan, Shannon Johnston, and the Bishop Suffragan, Susan Goff, in the depth and breadth of episcopal ministry in the Diocese of Virginia.  Shared ministry includes:

  • support and development of congregations, clergy and lay leaders, including conflict transformation;
  • leadership, support and development of diocesan organizations;
  • being a voice of faith in the public square;
  • offering leadership in local, nation and international mission;
  • articulating a vision for the Church in the world in the 21st century;
  • and taking part in the governance and councils of the wider Church.

The second Bishop Suffragan, who will work primarily out of the northern Virginia office, will provide:

  • specific leadership in pastoral care of clergy and their families;
  • support and development of campus ministries;
  • and ecumenical and interfaith relationships.

Together, our “joy will be to follow him who came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”  (From the Examination in the service of Ordination of a Bishop, BCP p. 517)

Should any ordained member of the committee choose to put his or her name in for consideration, that individual must resign from the committee immediately.  If a family member (spouse, sibling, parent, child) chooses to place herself or himself in contention for this election, that family member must also resign from the committee.

The Standing Committee will expect periodic reports from the Nominating Committee as discernment moves forward, in a schedule agreed upon between the President of the Standing Committee and the Chair of the Nominating Committee.  If no action is required, an email to the Standing Committee President, which will be forwarded to the rest of the committee, will suffice. If action is required, the President and Chair will notify all parties.

The Bishop of Virginia, because of the particular nature of the role of a Bishop Suffragan, shall have the privilege and authority to exclude any nominee he deems unsuitable, without explanation to the Nominating Committee, prior to the selection of candidates to visit the diocese for interviews with the Nominating Committee.

The Standing Committee’s confidence in your capabilities is complete.  You have accepted a tremendous responsibility and we thank you for your service, your time and your talents.  Any assistance we can provide is yours for the asking.  Know that you will all remain in our prayers as you proceed with this most recent call from God to serve our Diocese.