Over 100 delegates from the Eastern West Indies Province of the Moravian Church will return home having failed to elect a new Bishop.
And they will have to wait another three years at the next Provincial Synod in Tobago, before getting the opportunity again.
Chairman of this year’s Synod, Reverend Dr Adrian Smith told Barbados TODAY that just before 11 p.m. on Thursday, voting was suspended after four unsuccessful attempts to appoint a new Bishop.
The field was reportedly narrowed down to two frontrunners, but neither was able to secure the necessary two-thirds majority to lead the church.
“Voting has been suspended for the next three years. What happens is that a Moravian Bishop is not a Bishop of a region but of the entire worldwide Moravian Church and the two current Bishops in the Eastern Caribbean [Bishop Right Reverend Conrad Spencer and Right Reverend Kingsley Lewis] will continue to function as Bishops,” reported Reverend Smith.
“Our Bishop is not administrative and just because you are a Bishop in unity, you can function in any geographic region. So, any Moravian Bishop can come and perform the ordination….They are considered to be the pastor of pastors.”
He added that while the reaction to suspension of the vote was mixed, the delegates from 10 countries left with a sense of peace.
“We ultimately believe that, at this time, God does not want us to elect a third Bishop, and so we will continue to function and serve until the next Synod and hear from God again,” said Reverend Smith.
Despite not electing a Bishop, the delegates successfully chose a new Chairman, Vice Chairman, Secretary and Lay Members to sit on the Provincial Elders Conference (PEC).
Late last year, the Anglican Diocese found itself in a similar position when the local Synod failed to elect a new Bishop after four attempts, causing the decision to fall at the feet of the Provincial Office of the House of Bishops, which eventually selected Reverend Michael Maxwell.