The Executive Bishop is chief governor and leader of the General Church of the New Jerusalem (General Church). His role, like all of the clergy, is to teach the Lord's truth and show how that truth creates a good quality of life which leads to heaven.
The structure of the organization is Episcopal, but in a modified form. While the leadership comes from the bishop's office, vision, policies, and practices result from extensive discussions with the administrative team, the clergy as a whole and various lay boards, committees and councils. The bishop and his delegates oversee the clergy and congregations to provide for systematic worship and instruction for people of all ages. He is also responsible for overseeing the organization's business affairs; however, lay boards and members of the administration provide the expertise and practical experience to ensure that the functions of the church are well supported and developed.
New bishops are selected and nominated by the clergy, affirmed by the Board, then affirmed by the membership of the General Church. They usually serve approximately ten years in office.
The Executive Bishop and the Assistant Bishops visit congregations around the world to provide guidance and support.
The Rt. Rev. Peter M. Buss Jr. is the current Executive Bishop of the General Church (as of July 1, 2019). The position of Executive Bishop serves to coordinate the uses of the priesthood, to provide overall spiritual leadership to the Church around the world, and to stand as Chancellor to the Academy of the New Church, the educational arm of the Church.
He has served as a General Church priest for over 20 years. He previously served as the Assistant to the Bishop of the General Church, and before that was the Pastor of the Glenview New Church and School, and before that was the Assistant to the Pastor in the Washington New Church.
Two Assistant Bishops
Two priests serve in the position of Assistant Bishop of the General Church. They are: The Rt. Rev. David H. Lindrooth, and the Rt. Rev. Bradley D. Heinrichs.
David and Brad serve in split-time capacities. Each oversee a Central Office department (Outreach and Education respectively) and help Pete with the work of the Episcopal office with the balance of their time.