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June 12, 2008:

DAY 22 ON nFoG WATCH

Stated Clerk Nominees Answers Posted

The official answers to the questions posed by the Stated Clerk Nominating Committee have been posted. In case you were wondering, I am neither going to endorse nor criticize any of the statements of any of the nominees.

I am going to criticize the process. Again.

This is the most absurd way to elect someone who will have an enormous impact on the life of the denomination during the next four years. It is like a beauty pageant, where three of the contestants are asked to remain virtually invisible until the very last minute. Aside from the five minute nominating speeches on Sunday evening (before committees meet for the first time) and an informal time from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon on Wednesday, this is all the information available to commissioners and advisory delegates before the election on Friday morning, June 27.

It isn't the uneven playing field that bothers me most -- the Stated Clerk Nominating Committee's choice should have some advantage by virtue of being the selection of the committee charged with the task of discerning the best individual. (For "Top Chef" fans, Gradye Parsons won the quickfire challenge.) Granted, being on the platform all week in a prominent public role is a huge advantage, but let's leave that aside, too.

The real problem (as I see it) is that the people charged with discerning and electing are being kept in the dark for no good justifiable reason. There are serious issues and questions about the direction of the denomination, a direction that is impacted greatly by the role and function of the Stated Clerk. This process suggests that the decision regarding the qualifications and leadership of the Stated Clerk is too important to be left to commissioners to handle.