Dallas bishop calls for election of an assistant pastor

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Greetings to our risen Christ. I am writing to inform you that I have asked the Standing Committee to begin the selection process for the election of Assistant Bishops. He or she will assist me in episcopal supervision, including episcopal visitations and administrative work normally assigned to lay priests, until I retire and the assistant pastor becomes the parish priest. I have spoken with Bishop Todd Owsley of the National Church. There will be elections in 2025.

Of course, I had no role in the election process other than praying! Father Clayton Elder, Chairman of the Standing Committee, will explain to you what happens next, both normatively and practically.

Part of our Christian life has always been discerning the right time. First, despite the challenges we face, I believe our position as a diocese is strong. Second, a year ago I led a Lenten series called “Growing Aging and Becoming a Christian,” and now I need to apply that to myself as I think about the next phase of leadership. Third, we will benefit from the perspective and energy that the new bishop will bring.

I know a lot of attention right now is focused on the electoral process. But I will continue to work tirelessly on all the ongoing diocesan projects we have started together. These include church planting, supporting our Cairo missionaries, annual lectures on theology and artificial intelligence, providing new Spanish courses for Stanton College, filling vacancies, and helping smaller churches collaborate. Work on permanent bodies such as the Ministry Committee continues apace. Stephanie and I continue to enjoy our visits.

Expressing my gratitude to everyone is a way of looking forward to the day ahead. Most importantly, we all press forward day after day toward the goal of the reward of the upward calling of Jesus Christ.


George Sumner

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