We have returned home from our trip through the Nevada desert with the nominees for Bishop of the Diocese of Nevada and several members of that diocese’s search, transition, and standing committees.
It was a wonderful, exhilarating, exhausting, eye-opening experience. Both my wife and I were born and grew up in Nevada, and it is both a significant honor and a very humbling experience to be invited to stand as a candidate in the election of the next bishop.
We were amazed at the changes in our home state and diocese since we left 14 years ago. The growth in the urban areas of Las Vegas and environs, and the Reno/Sparks/Carson City area is phenomenal. On the other hand, the decline of the rural communities, many of which are significantly smaller, was heart-rending. As important as the cities are, the real strength of Nevada and the greater part of its heritage is found in the old mining camps and ranching centers of the state. These communities (especially the churches in them) need the support and assistance of the urban centers. I’m sure, though, Nevada’s story is no different from other states — growth of urban areas and decline of rural communities is happening throughout the country.
The episcopal election in the Diocese of Nevada is scheduled for October 12, 2007. God has already chosen the next bishop … it is up to the people of the church in Nevada to listen prayerfully and carefully, and let us all know who that choice is.