In light of Bishop Curry’s election as the next presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, our Diocesan Standing Committee after much discussion, thought, prayer and consideration, on July 20, appointed Bishop Hodges-Copple as Bishop Pro Tem, to serve in this position from the time Bishop Curry resigns his jurisdiction as Bishop of North Carolina and assumes his office as Presiding Bishop on November 1, until the election and consecration of the next Bishop Diocesan. From the point that the formal nomination and search process begins, a typical search for a Bishop Diocesan takes 18-24 months. That period has not yet started.
As Bishop Pro Tem, Bishop Hodges-Copple becomes the ecclesiastical authority, or “chief executive and pastoral officer,” for the Diocese of North Carolina. She will work with a subcommittee of the Standing Committee in the coming weeks to determine exactly what responsibilities she will carry, and what will be the responsibilities of an assisting bishop, the search for which will begin in the next few months.
In addition to serving as Bishop Pro Tem, Bishop Hodges-Copple remains Bishop Suffragan of the diocese.
“This is an extension of my call as Bishop Suffragan as outlined in the canons,” said Bishop Hodges-Copple. “I’m honored and excited to take on these responsibilities during this time of transition.”
The Standing Committee, Bishop Hodges-Copple and the Rt. Rev. Clay Matthews of the Presiding Bishop’s office will meet in September to begin setting a timeline for the preparation for and implementation of the election process. The process of electing the next Bishop Diocesan will be announced at the 200th annual convention in November.