From The Living Church:
Posted on: November 14, 2008
Under a discernment plan approved by convention delegates Nov. 7-8, a task force in the Diocese of Eau Claire will consider five options for the diocese’s future. These range from electing a full-time diocesan bishop to replace the Rt. Rev. Keith Whitmore, to dissolving the diocese.
Other options include the election of a part-time or bi-vocational bishop, hiring a provisional bishop, or junctioning with another diocese—most probably Fond du Lac—to form a new diocese.
Delegates approved a resolution requesting that the two dioceses petition General Convention for permission to explore a junctioning arrangement. The annual convention in the Diocese of Fond du Lac approved a similar resolution last month.
The Rev. George Stamm, president of the Eau Claire standing committee, said a task force composed of members of both dioceses will draft a joint resolution for consideration by General Convention next July. The resolution would only permit exploration, and either diocese could terminate the process at any time. If both diocesan conventions favored the plan, the new diocese would submit the necessary paperwork to Executive Council, which would officially dissolve the two dioceses and admit the new one into union with the General Convention.
Eau Claire’s discernment task force will solicit feedback from throughout the diocese about the five options, and consider the financial impact of each. The information-gathering process is to be completed by Dec. 31, and the diocese is to choose one of the options no later than next year’s annual convention.
If the diocese were to dissolve, the 22 congregations and all other assets would be absorbed by the dioceses of Milwaukee and Fond du Lac, which would then revert to their 1927 boundaries.