When Accompaniment Becomes a Calling
Tuombe kwa uchaguzi wetu - Let's pray for our elections!
The election season is upon us, both in America and in Iringa. Next Friday, October 7th, will be the election of the next Bishop of the Iringa Diocese. After nearly 30 years of faithful service, Bishop Dr. Owdenberg Mdegella has indicated his desire to step down at the end of this year and our companions will select a new person to lead them on the next leg of their journey.
All of this means that the diocese head office is currently buzzing with different preparations. Several committees are meeting and making plans for the logistics of the event. One in particular that I am excited about is the official electoral kitenge (the fabric pictured above) that everyone from the head office will be wearing in one form or another on that day.
Every congregation in the Iringa Diocese will be sending a representative (two if the congregation is over 4000 members) to vote along with every pastor in the Diocese. If we total that up, we have about 500 people who will be coming for this three-day event at the University of Iringa.
So how does this whole process work? Good question.
According to the DIRA Constitution, the Steering Committee will meet first on October 6 to deliberate on a list of qualified names selected by the Bishop and narrow the list down to four names. Those names will be brought forward to the Executive Council of the Diocese which will deliberate later that day and decide on up to 2 names to bring forward at the assembly. On October 7, those names will then either be accepted or denied, with the opportunity for the general assembly to recommend an additional name. If the names are refused, the process will start again right then and there. Then, these names will be deliberated on throughout the assembly leading up to the vote. Each voting participant will vote for one name. Those that receive the least number of votes will be removed. Three quarters of the vote is required to win and if neither the first or second round satisfies this, then a simple majority will be enough in the third round.
We ask that you pray for the preparations, discernment, and the selection of the next Bishop of the Iringa Diocese. At the same time we are praying here for the discernment and selection of the next president in the United States.
- Julia Hubbard, Russ Hilliard, and Jo Whiting
BKB-SPAS Representatives in Iringa