A Moment for Mission
May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father.
— Colossians 1:11-12 NRSV
The United Methodist Church made headlines in May during the 2016 General Conference. Our bishops were called upon to lead the conference in making an important decision about how The United Methodist Church would be moving forward. Regarding the divisive topic of the church’s stance on human sexuality, it was decided that any vote would be delayed so the Council of Bishops could form a special committee to study the issue and recommend a way forward at a future meeting.
When we examine the role of our bishops in The United Methodist Church, we find that they are charged to lead us with a passion for unity in the church along with a prophetic commitment for transformation of the church and the world, and maintaining a vital and renewing spirit as they carry out their tasks of oversight and administration.
It could not have been an easy task for this group of elected servant leaders; there is still much work to be done. It is work that will require patience, compassion and wisdom by our bishops, and work that will need the support of the church by prayer in a spirit of grace and love.
This month our United Methodist jurisdictional conferences will be tasked with electing new bishops. These bishops will take on the important task of supervising, teaching and setting forth a vision for the church. Our giving toward the Episcopal Fund supports those pastors who take on this important and challenging role.
Almighty God, today we bring before you our United Methodist bishops. Grant them wisdom and strength as they shepherd your church. Give us, your church, open hearts to generously give that they will be able to continue to care for their flock. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Eighth Sunday After Pentecost - Living God, by your love and power, you give faith in Jesus Christ, our risen Lord! Thank you for the hope and peace that you have planted in our hearts. Your Spirit enables your word to bear fruit in our lives as we share your good news with others. We dedicate our tithes and gifts to the work of your church, as we seek to continually reach out to share the knowledge of new life throughout the whole world. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Colossians 1:1-14)
During the month of July our United Methodist jurisdictional conferences will elect new bishops. United Methodist bishops are ordained elders who have been elected by their own jurisdictional conferences. The jurisdictional conferences elect bishops every four years. Bishops are charged with keeping the methods of The United Methodist Church, as their role and function is to protect our practices of faith, order, liturgy, doctrine and discipline.
Bishops lead in a variety of ways, including teaching as they set forth a prophetic vision for the church while providing oversight and maintaining a spirit of unity across their conferences, regions and the denomination. As bishops are not assigned to a specific church, it is through churches giving their apportionments that we are able to support them. Our gifts to the Episcopal Fund allow for the important work done by the bishops to continue.