Monday, July 16, 2012
Search for a New Bishop
On Monday, July 16th, Linda Holland, Director of Connectional Ministries, and Nancy Cole, Natural Church Development Coordinator and Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator, and I arrived in at Lake Junaluska Assembly in North Carolina for the meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference of the United Methodist Church. The Conference, which meets once every four years, has the primary task to elect Bishops. (If you are unfamiliar with the process of electing Bishops in the UMC, you can learn more here.) Linda, Nancy and I had been asked to serve as at-large pages for the conference and were not voting members of the conference still time and time again, we were told to "bring back a good one!" So we decided we should keep our eyes out for North Alabama's next bishop and posted our discoveries on our facebook pages. Below is what we discovered.
Sweet . . . but not the Bishop!
Honorable . . . but not the Bishop!
Fully Human and Fully Divine . . . but not the Bishop!
Formidable Mama . . . but not the Bishop
Strangely warmed . . . but not a Bishop
Bishop Elect 1 . . . possibly the Bishop!
Bishop Elect 2 . . . possibly the Bishop!
Looks like Lyle Holland . . . but not the Bishop
Bishop Elect 3 . . . possibly the Bishop!
Bishop Elect 4 . . . possibly the Bishop!
A Doctor . . . but not the Bishop
Funny . . . but not the Bishop!
Young Jin Cho)
Bishop Elect 5 . . . possibly the Bishop! (and the first Korean-American to be elected as Bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction!)
A lot of them . . . but none of them are the Bishop!
Debbie Wallace-Padgett, the first woman Bishop to be assigned to the North Alabama Conference!
Serving at the conference was a blessing and a joy. Our delegation worked long hard hours as they prayerfully discerned their votes. And the Committee on the Episcopacy did a wonderful job of assigning bishops to the Annual Conferences and provided each of the Bishops with a rationale for their assignment.
I'm excited about our new Bishop and look forward to working with Bishop Wallace-Padgett! I pray God's blessings on her and her family as they saw goodbye to their congregation at St. Luke and prepare to come to North Alabama. I pray for the leadership, pastors and laity of the North Alabama Conference that we will be ready to follow her lead. And I look forward to seeing where God takes us next!