From The Pastors

Regularly one of our pastors will share a sermon, reflections on religion, or what’s going on around the community and the world. Our current message is below:

Continued: Executive Bishop Nominating Process

From Rev. Eric Carswell, Head Pastor
April 17, 2018

 At the beginning of March, I wrote a column on the Executive Bishop nomination process. In it I reminded people that this coming June the members of the Council of the Clergy will be nominating a person to serve as the next Executive Bishop when our current Executive Bishop, Brian Keith, steps down at the end of June 2019.

The nominees, in alphabetical order and with their ages and current roles are:

  • Erik Buss (52), Assistant Pastor of Bryn Athyn Church
  • Peter Buss, Jr. (50), Assistant to the Bishop
  • Glenn “Mac” Frazier (47), Associate Pastor of Glenview New Church
  • Bradley Heinrichs (50), Head Pastor of Carmel New Church and School, EVP of General Church in Canada
  • David Lindrooth (55), Director of General Church Outreach
  • Derrick Lumsden (35), Pastor of Sower’s Chapel in Sarver, PA

More information about these nominees, including statements from other clergy recommending the candidate, and each individual’s Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume is available at the General Church of the New Jerusalem website: When you get to that webpage you can click on a candidate’s name (in blue) for additional information.

Last month the GCNJ Board meetings included a consideration of these nominees as part of their role of giving counsel to the clergy.

Our clear expectation is that when one of the men listed above have been nominated by the clergy and the GCNJ Board has responded to this nomination, the membership of the church will receive additional information about the nominee beyond what is already published on the website above. This will allow the membership to make an informed response to the nominee.

During the Pastor’s Council meeting this month, one of the members expressed that the response of the GCNJ membership didn’t really seem like a vote. If we think of political elections as our model, this is understandable. In this case, as with nearly all nomination processes for a pastor of a congregation, the broad membership is not involved in the consideration of multiple candidates. Instead, a committee considers the candidates and often, for some time now, has interviewed them, and counsels the Bishop or his representative on who they think is the person most likely to serve the congregation. Then that one pastor’s name is presented to the congregation for their affirmation or non-affirmation.