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So what is Jurisdictional Conference anyway? Part 2

June 11, 2012

PART 2 – HOW BISHOPS HAPPEN

Every four years, the UMC has a General Conference which brings together elected delegates from around the world.  In the months that follow, all the Jurisdictional Conferences also meet.  Each Annual Conference sends twice the number of lay and clergy delegates to Jurisdictional Conference as to General Conference.  The primary tasks of the Jurisdictional Conference is to elect new Bishops to replace those who retire, and to assign Bishops to Episcopal Areas.

Each Jurisdictional Conference has a slightly different way of nominating Elders to run for the office of Bishop.  In the NCJC, Annual Conferences generally nominate an individual, who may or may not be endorsed by delegates.   Other groups may also nominate a candidate.  The candidates campaign at Jurisdictional Conference, primarily by meeting with groups of delegates or through panel discussions.  All the delegates then vote on the candidates.  It takes at least 60% of the votes cast to “win,” and there may be many, many ballots before a candidate is elected.  If more than one Bishop needs to be elected, the process repeats itself until all the openings are filled.

Jurisdictional Conference ends with a Consecration Service installing the new Bishop and an announcement of where each Bishop is assigned to serve for the next four years.  The assignments are made by the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee (JEC), a small group of one clergy and one lay person from every Annual Conference in the Jurisdiction.   A Bishop may be reassigned after four years, but usually serves eight years in an Annual Conference.  The JEC gathers information from the various Annual Conferences and the active Bishops to use as part of the assignment process.

-Diane Odeen

 

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One Comment
  1. Anita permalink

    Thank you Diane for shairng and providing clarity in a simple, easy to understand way. Great Lay leadership and insight.

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