Q+A about Rev. Hanke and the Bishop Process

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Questions about the bishop process for Rev. Hanke are being regularly reviewed and answered here. The newest updates to this page are at the top. The questions are answered based on date of submission, not on importance or frequency asked.
On Sunday, August 21, Senior Warden Lorene Eberhardt announced plans for weekly Vestry-led prayer gatherings taking place in the months leading up to the bishop election. The schedule is as follows:
Week of: Leader: Date and Time: Location:
August 21 David Fahrenkrug Wed, Aug 24 @ 7:30pm 5401 Williamsburg Blvd., Arlington, VA 22207
August 28 Adam Guzzo Tue, Aug 30 @ 8:00pm 2901 Meadow Lane, Falls Church, VA 22042
September 4 Jen Paterno Wed, Sep 7 @ 8:00pm 413 Midvale St., Falls Church, VA 22046
September 11 Mary Jo Binker Wed, Sep 14 @ 7:00am Restoration
September 18 Dennis Wong Sat, Sep 24 @ 9:00am 2637 Woodley Place, Falls Church, VA 22046
September 25 Dan Vogel Mon, Sept 26 @ 8pm 3417 Halcyon Drive, Alexandria, VA 22305
October 2 Lorene Eberhardt Mon, Oct. 3 @ 8pm 1824 Baldwin Dr., McLean, VA 22101
October 9 Meaghan Maguire Wed, Oct 12 @ 7:30pm Restoration
October 16 Karen McNeilly Sun, Oct 16 @ 12:30pm Restoration 
On Friday, August 19, Rev. Hanke sent a Rector’s Update to the congregation which included the following message:

I am attaching 3 documents in preparation for our parish meeting on Sunday, August 21, at 12:45 (right after the 11:00 service). Child care will be available for kids 3 and under. Older children are welcome to join us in the sanctuary for the parish meeting.

At the meeting, the vestry will explain the rector succession policy and how it would be implemented, should it be needed. The vestry will also talk through the working description they have created of both Restoration and the kind of person who could serve as Restoration’s next rector. I also pulled together the answers our 2022 vestry gave to our discernment questions in the year they were elected. This document will help you get to know our vestry and pray for them during this important season.

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as we worship together and then gather together in our parish meeting so that we can walk together in this season of potential change.

This was the initial communication to Restoration about Rev. Hanke’s candidacy:

Dear Restoration,

Today, July 17th, at 2pm, our diocese announced that I am a candidate to be the next bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. You can read the announcement and meet all three of the candidates, here

I was nominated in December 2021 and have been participating in a long and thorough interview process that concluded in mid June.There are a number of things I have written along the way. You can find my resume, spiritual autobiography, video introduction, and written response to pertinent questions, here. I am thankful to be one of the final three in consideration.  

I have deep respect for my fellow candidates. In God’s gracious abundance, He has provided three excellent leaders who would uniquely serve our diocese in this next season. We have been praying on Sundays as a church for this process and now that the candidates are public, I invite you to pray everyday for the person who will be Bishop John’s successor. God already knows who our bishop will be. Our prayers allow us to join Him in the process of being ready for that person to be chosen.

Lots of questions…

This news creates a lot of ‘What if’s’ in our minds. The vestry, staff, and I have been working to anticipate some of those what if questions and I will answer them here. We have also created a way for you to submit your questions about this process through a form that is available on the front page of our website.

How will the election happen?

The election will take place in person on October 15 at All Saints Anglican Church in Woodbridge, VA. The bishop is elected by all of the clergy in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic and lay delegates who have been chosen from each church. Both groups must choose the same candidate with a majority of their votes. It is possible that there can be multiple voting rounds given the requirement that both groups require a majority of votes for the same candidate.

It’s an election. Does that mean you are going to be ‘campaigning’? 

We live in a town that needs this kind of clarification. No, there is not a campaign. The materials  that are available on the diocesan website are to help everyone get to know us. There has been great effort to have uniformity of presentation even as the content presented by each candidate is unique to him. There will be a couple evenings in September where delegates will meet with the candidates and hear their responses to questions. All of this information is offered to our diocese as fuel for prayer and discernment.

Who is representing Restoration at the election? 

In addition to our clergy, Restoration will have seven lay delegates and four alternate delegates.

Clergy Delegates
David Hanke
Beth Tipps
Nathan Dickerson
Scott Buckhout
Steve Brooks
Mary Gardner

Lay Delegates
Cindy Willmann
Drew Bond
Dennis Wong
Becky Mohr
Susie Wallin
Santiago Sedaca
Alison McCord

Alternate Lay Delegates
Carolyn Weimer
Erica Chapman
David Fahrenkrug
Endel Liias

How was the number of delegates and those specific people determined?

Each church in our diocese (42 churches and missions in total) is granted a number of lay delegates based on their average Sunday attendance in 2021. Restoration’s seven delegates are the second highest in the diocese, using our average attendance of 504 in 2021. 

Restoration’s lay delegates were chosen by our current vestry. They are all current or former vestry members. This criterion was used because it is our vestry who have the most interaction amongst our congregation with our bishop. They understand his role, have worked with him, and thus they have unique experience to discern who is best suited to be the next bishop of our diocese.

The Restoration delegation will not vote as a block. Each delegate has been encouraged, through prayer, to make their own decision about how to cast their vote.

How will we know who is elected to be our new bishop?  

The election will be live streamed on October 15 and the results will be posted to the DOMA website as soon as they are confirmed. 

The election of the bishop is contingent on approval of the new bishop by the College of Bishops at their January 2023 meeting. Once the new bishop is approved, he will be consecrated on February 18, 2023 and immediately begin his duties.

What happens if David is not elected?

David will continue to serve as Restoration’s rector.

If David is elected, will he still be the rector of Restoration? 

No. The role of bishop is a full-time position. Most Sundays of the year, the bishop is leading and preaching at one of the parishes in his diocese.

If David is elected, when will his last Sunday be?

This is a big question with a lot of variables. At this time, the staff and vestry are preparing for a rector transition that would occur in the month of November 2022.

If David is elected, will his family continue to participate in life at Restoration?

At this time, the Hankes plan to remain in Arlington and continue worshiping at Restoration.

If David is elected, what is the process for choosing his successor?

In Anglican churches, the rector is chosen by the vestry in consultation with the bishop. The decision on who to call as rector is not made by the congregation, nor subject to the congregation’s approval. The rector is called by the vestry after the candidate has been approved by the bishop.

Last year, Restoration’s vestry created a rector succession policy that will guide this vestry and future vestries in the process of selecting a new rector. The vestry will follow that policy by first considering interested internal candidates, and if necessary, appointing a Search Committee who will oversee the recruiting, vetting, and interviewing of external candidates.

Will we have an interim Rector? If so, when will that person be announced? 

Between now and the end of September, the vestry will consider Restoration’s internal candidates. If David is elected on October 15, it is the vestry’s intention to announce within a few days either the next rector of Restoration or the person who will serve as interim rector while a search committee is formed and an external search is conducted. There will either be a new rector or an interim rector in place by the time David resigns, should he be elected.

What happens with the rest of our staff team when there is a change in rector? 

We give thanks to God for the talent and dedication of our staff. We are confident our next rector will be excited to partner with and lead them in serving our church. We also recognize that in a period of change there may be transitions, and we wait in hopeful anticipation of what God will do.

On behalf of our wardens, Lorene Eberhardt and Adam Guzzo, I would like to invite you to our next parish meeting on August 21 at 12:45. We will take that opportunity to answer further questions about the bishop election and to describe in greater detail the rector succession plan, should it be needed. In the meantime, we encourage you to submit any questions you have using the form on the front page of our website.

God does not change.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Isaiah 40:28-29

Today the circumstances of our church changed, but our Lord has not. He is the everlasting God. He has seen this day and He sees all of the days to come. He knows what will happen and He does not grow weary in giving us strength. 

God is always inviting us into new ways of trusting Him. This particular process of my candidacy for bishop is a new experience for our community. It is the first time that all of us (including me!) have had to consider a possible change in rector. I am inviting you to join me in this journey of faith. I would love to hear what the Lord is saying to you and I will share the helpful things that God is speaking to me. We don’t know how this part of the journey will end, but I do know that we can walk closely together through prayer and trust in our everlasting God.