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Council of Bishops


UMC bishops seek donations for Puerto Rico in wake of hurricane

UMC bishops seek donations for Puerto Rico in wake of hurricane

9/27/2022
WASHINGTON ­– The Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church is appealing for donations to assist the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following the devastation left on the island by Hurricane Fiona last week. The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico sent a letter to the COB asking for help and donations. In the letter of appeal, Bishop Lizzette Gabriel Montalvo said: “our beloved brothers and sisters from different locations, we kindly ask for support on this journey in which once again...

A Call to Prayer and Action in Response to Gun Violence

A Call to Prayer and Action in Response to Gun Violence

9/2/2022
To address the crisis of gun violence in the U.S. and around the world, bishops are urging United Methodists to raise their prayers and contact their elected leaders. The Council of Bishops released a letter to the wider church Sept. 1. Read the letter below. Read story from the United Methodist News Service Read Council of Bishops letter (PDF) Read press release from the Council of Bishops A Call to Prayer and Action in Response to Gun Violence  “Thou shall not kill.” -Exodus 20:13  We are ...

UMC bishops welcome Judicial Council’s clarification of church disaffiliation process

UMC bishops welcome Judicial Council’s clarification of church disaffiliation process

8/24/2022
COUNCIL OF BISHOPS PRESS RELEASE AUGUST 24, 2022 WASHINGTON, D.C. -  The Council of Bishops expresses gratitude for the Judicial Council’s ruling that clarified that Paragraph 2548.2 of The Book of Discipline is not a process of church disaffiliation from The United Methodist Church but is rather a supplementary procedure for the purpose of deeding church property as permitted by other paragraphs of the Discipline in limited situations.  In May this year, the bishops requested a declaratory ...

UMC bishops bemoan US Supreme Court’s decision on abortion

UMC bishops bemoan US Supreme Court’s decision on abortion

6/25/2022
June 25, 2022 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church says the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn Roe v. Wade has denied the sacred worth of women who face “the tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion.”   In a statement released today by COB President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, the bishops said the decision serves to create a further divide between persons of privilege who have the means to seek necessary health ...

Bishops seek ruling on whether an annual conference can leave UMC

Bishops seek ruling on whether an annual conference can leave UMC

3/8/2022
PRESS RELEASE March 8, 2022   WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is requesting a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council on whether an annual conference can separate from the denomination under the provision of the Book of Discipline.  During a special meeting COB held via Zoom and through electronic balloting, the bishops approved a request to ask the church’s top court to address six questions:               Question 1: May an annual conference of...

UMC General Conference postponed till 2024; bishops to explore various pathways

UMC General Conference postponed till 2024; bishops to explore various pathways

3/3/2022
PRESS RELEASE MARCH 3, 2022 WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Commission on the General Conference today announced the further postponement of the postponed 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. The next General Conference will be in 2024. In response to the decision, Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey said: I give thanks for the Commission on the General Conference, a committed and faithful group of laity and clergy. The Commission continues to serve tirelessly,...

Council of Bishops statement on hatred and racism

Council of Bishops statement on hatred and racism

2/8/2022
Press Release February 8, 2022  WASHINGTON, D.C. -  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has condemned the recent hatred and racist attacks on houses of worships and institutions of learning in the United States. In a statement released today, the Council of Bishops referred to the recent attack on a synagogue in Texas and bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities.  “We want our Jewish sisters and brothers to know that we are appalled by this senseless...

NCJ delegates name commitment to anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ inclusion

NCJ delegates name commitment to anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ inclusion

11/12/2021
By Christa Meland, director of communications, Minnesota Conference • NCJ Delegate Covenant • Statement from the Council of Bishop's Narrative for Continuing the UMC • "A Call To Grace" - An open letter to all United Methodists At a virtual North Central Jurisdictional (NCJ) Conference this week, delegates elected by their respective annual conferences created and overwhelmingly approved a covenant naming their commitment to anti-racism work and LGBTQIA+ inclusion. Approximately 250 delegates ...

NCJ delegates talk anti-racism and future, vote to reduce bishops by one

NCJ delegates talk anti-racism and future, vote to reduce bishops by one

11/12/2021
When Rev. Ron Bell was in high school, his father became superintendent of the Eastern District of the Delaware Annual Conference. As their family was moving into the superintendents’ big, beautiful parsonage in Eastern Maryland, the entire local police department surrounded the house with guns drawn and told Bell and his father to get on the ground with their hands behind their heads. Why? “Because a little white girl across the street saw black folk in her neighborhood,” said Bell, who serves ...

Bishops agree on narrative for the continuing United Methodist Church

Bishops agree on narrative for the continuing United Methodist Church

11/9/2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Council of Bishops ended its Fall meeting on Friday having spent time in worship, plenary and covenant groups as they seek God’s guidance to lead The United Methodist Church. The worship services were coordinated by Bishops Sharma Lewis and Lawson Bryan, and were led by Bishops Harald Rückert, David Bard and LaTrelle Easterling. The bishops, from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, overwhelmingly approved a narrative that provides a framework and begins to paint a ...

Special Alert: Bishop Haller to continue to serve Iowa and the Dakotas in 2022

Special Alert: Bishop Haller to continue to serve Iowa and the Dakotas in 2022

11/8/2021
The United Methodist Council of Bishops on Friday, Nov. 5 approved a plan for episcopal oversight in the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) that includes Bishop Laurie Haller continuing to serve as interim bishop for the Dakotas Conference in 2022. She will also continue to serve as resident bishop for the Iowa Conference. Here is the press release the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops sent out: At the November, 5, 2021 meeting of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist, the ...

United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss church future, elect new officers

United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss church future, elect new officers

10/27/2021
For Immediate Release Wednesday, October 27, 2021   United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss church future, elect new officers WASHINGTON, D.C. – Facing the challenges of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church will meet November 2-5 to discuss the future of the continuing United Methodist Church, elect new officers and address other timely topics.   The more than 100 bishops from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America will be in attendance during the Zoom ...

Funeral Service Details for Rev. Herbert Edward Palmer

Funeral Service Details for Rev. Herbert Edward Palmer

6/28/2021
Please keep Bishop Gregory V. & Mrs. Cynthia Palmer and their family in your prayers as they mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Rev. Herbert E. Palmer, our former Bishop’s father. From the Council of Bishops: IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS "May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:11   We continue to hold Bishop Gregory V. Palmer and his family in our thoughts and prayers upon the passing of his father, the Reverend Herbert Edward Palmer....

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference

3/22/2021
For Immediate Release Monday, March 22, 2021   Bishops Reconsider May 8 Special Session of General Conference   WASHINGTON, D.C.  -  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church met on Monday, March 22, 2021 in an additional meeting to consider pressing matters  related to the Council’s work.  After much conversation, the bishops reached a decision that in the best interest of the church at this time, they would cancel the Special Session of the General Conference which was set for May ...

Council of Bishops call Special Session of General Conference on May 8, 2021

Council of Bishops call Special Session of General Conference on May 8, 2021

2/25/2021
Press Release February 25, 2021 WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the further postponement of the 2020 General Conference, the Council of Bishops (COB) is calling a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be convened online on May 8, 2021.   According to the call letter signed by COB President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the Special Session will be held in accordance with Division Two - Section II - Article II of The Constitution of The United ...

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

UMC Bishops call for optimism and hope in 2021

12/15/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Despite the trials and tribulations of 2020 brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, bishops in The United Methodist Church are calling on United Methodists and other people of faith to be optimistic about 2021 and to trust that God will make things better in the coming year.  In the 2020 Advent letter released today, the bishops urged people of faith to continue to have love, joy, hope and peace, especially during the season of Advent, which is a time of anticipation and longing in...

UMC bishops honor, remember Rev. Dr. McClain

UMC bishops honor, remember Rev. Dr. McClain

11/24/2020
For immediate Release November 24, 2020   WASHINGTON, D. C – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is honoring and remembering the legacy of the Rev. Dr. William Bobby McClain, a distinguished scholar, pastor, advocate and educator who died on November 18, 2020 at age 82. COB President Bishop Cynthia Harvey sent a condolences letter on behalf of the COB to Mrs. Jo Ann McClain, widow of Rev. Dr. McClain.  In the letter, the bishops thanked the Rev. Dr. McClain for his dedication ...

Council of Bishops November 2020 meeting will feature live-streamed opening session

Council of Bishops November 2020 meeting will feature live-streamed opening session

10/29/2020
For Immediate Release            Wednesday, October 28, 2020 United Methodist Bishops meet to discuss church future, epidemic crisis WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church will meet November 2-5 in the midst of a pandemic, racial unrest, denominational and political anxiety.   The more than 120 bishops serving in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America will meet virtually due to the pandemic travel restrictions. They will explore, discern, and act upon ways to...

UMC Bishops welcome new Executive Secretary and Ecumenical Officer

UMC Bishops welcome new Executive Secretary and Ecumenical Officer

7/7/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C.  -  The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce that Bishop Bruce Ough and Bishop Sally Dyck will become the new Executive Secretary and Ecumenical Officer of the Council effective September 1, 2020.  Both were elected at the 2019 November meeting of the Council. Bishop Ough will be succeeding Bishop Marcus Matthews as Executive Secretary while Bishop Dyck will be taking over the ecumenical portfolio from Bishop B. Michael Watson.  The Executive...

United Methodists Set to Unveil “Dismantling Racism” Initiative

United Methodists Set to Unveil “Dismantling Racism” Initiative

6/19/2020
United Methodist Communications Office of Public Information FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 16, 2020  Nashville, Tennessee: United Methodist Church leaders will launch a plan of action to galvanize church members and others to actively stand against racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd and protests across the U.S. The “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” initiative is a multi-level effort throughout the church to initiate a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and ...

United Methodist Bishops: Act now to end racism and white supremacy

United Methodist Bishops: Act now to end racism and white supremacy

6/8/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the aftermath of police killings of unarmed Black people, the bishops of The United Methodist Church today called on all United Methodists to act now by using their voices, pens, feet and hearts to end racism.    In a statement released by Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the bishops are urging every United Methodist to reclaim their baptismal vows to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.    “We ask every...

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

UMC Bishops call for justice in wake of Ahmaud Arbery’s death

5/14/2020
For Immediate Release Thursday, May 14, 2020 WASHINGTON, D. C. -  The Bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling for justice and the eradication of racism and white supremacy in the aftermath of the killing of an unarmed Black man, Ahmaud Arbery, in Brunswick, Georgia.  In a statement released today and signed by Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the leaders of the church joined the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society in...

Bishop Harvey makes history as first Hispanic woman to be COB President

Bishop Harvey makes history as first Hispanic woman to be COB President

5/5/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Area has made history by becoming the first Hispanic woman to be president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.  She is also the first woman of color to lead the more than 128 active and retired bishops of the one of the largest denominations in the world. Bishop Harvey assumed the mantle of office last week as the active and retired bishops from around the globe gathered in a virtual meeting April 29 to May 1...

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

Tentative General Conference dates publicized

4/21/2020
By Heather Hahn April 21, 2020 | UM News   After the pandemic-caused postponement, the new prospective dates for The United Methodist Church’s General Conference are Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 2021. The Council of Bishops disclosed the proposed dates, including a Council of Bishops meeting starting Aug. 26, in an email to its members and other church leaders. The proposed dates also were discussed among delegates of at least one jurisdictional conference in late March. General Conference organizers have ...

In Easter message, Bishops urge Christians not to despair in midst of global pandemic

In Easter message, Bishops urge Christians not to despair in midst of global pandemic

4/10/2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - President of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church Bishop Kenneth H.  Carter has urged Christians to rely on the power of Easter to overcome the forces of death, division, darkness, and despair in the amidst of the COVID-19 global pandemic.   In the Easter message to The United Methodist Church, Bishop Carter noted that, “Easter is the moment when who we are, what we believe and what we do becomes clear. Easter is the power of the crucified and risen Jesus over...

Mrs. Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer, widow of Bishop Wayne Clymer, died March 21, 2020

Mrs. Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer, widow of Bishop Wayne Clymer, died March 21, 2020

3/30/2020
Mrs. Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer, widow of Bishop Wayne Clymer, died March 21, 2020 at age 96. Bishop Wayne Clymer died in 2013. Bishop Clymer was ordained in the early 1940s and served as an elder with the Evangelical United Brethren Church prior to the merger that formed The United Methodist Church in 1968. He served churches in New York, was a professor and president of Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois, and served as president of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). ...

Bishop Laurie responds to Council of Bishops letter to postpone General Conference 2020

Bishop Laurie responds to Council of Bishops letter to postpone General Conference 2020

3/13/2020
Dear friends, It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops has decided to ask for a postponement of the 2020 General Conference due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is not known yet when the General Conference, currently scheduled for Minneapolis in May, will be rescheduled. We know that many important decisions need to be made at General Conference. Our primary concern, however, is the health and welfare of our delegates and those who ...

United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

United Methodist Traditionalists, Centrists, Progressives & Bishops sign agreement aimed at separation

1/3/2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Iowa Annual Conference, Grace and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as this new year begins. I am writing to make you aware of the discernment of a “mediation team” that has been working for the past several months to bring a proposal to the delegates of the 2020 General Conference in Minneapolis. The mediation team is a diverse group of representatives from United Methodist advocacy groups with contrasting views and bishops from the US and ...

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

Ebony Bishops demand a voice in discussions on UMC future

10/21/2019
For Immediate Release October 21, 2019 The Ebony Bishops of The United Methodists Church (African-American bishops serving in the United States) have called on the denomination to include African-American clergy and laity in the ongoing discussions on the future of the church, as they provide the unique voice of hope for the future, not only for the Black church, but also for the unity of the entire denomination.  In a statement released October 21, 2019 by co-chairs Bishop LaTrelle Miller ...

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

Video offers insight into the UMC-Episcopal dialogue on Full Communion

10/16/2019
For immediate release                                                            October 14, 2019   Videos offer insight into the United Methodist-Episcopal Full Communion Dialogue WASHINGTON, D. C. -  The United Methodist Church – Episcopal Church Dialogue Committee has released a series of videos highlighting shared ministries between the churches and discussing the current full communion proposal developed by the committee.   The videos include a conversation between Bishop Gregory Palmer ...

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

Council of Bishops announces winners of Local Initiatives Grants

10/1/2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Local Initiatives Grants. The winners are: Columbia Wesley Foundation Methodist Student Network: Contact Tom H. Wall at WallBrodie@aol.com: This project gathers the United Methodist Wesley Foundation in Columbia, South Carolina, with the Hilell Foundation and the campus Muslim Student Association in order to get to know each other and be in ministry with each other during this...

Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session

Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session

6/7/2018
Guidelines for Petitions submitted to the 2018 Iowa Annual Conference Session Related to the Proposals of the Council of Bishops Regarding a “Way Forward” For The United Methodist Church   Persons or groups seeking Iowa Annual Conference endorsement of petitions to the 2019 General Conference must submit the petition in electronic form to the Iowa Annual Conference Secretary by 1:30 p.m., Saturday, June 9, 2018. Petitions may only originate with or be sponsored by individuals who are members of,...

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Laurie

5/5/2018
A PASTORAL LETTER FROM BISHOP LAURIE   May 5, 2018   Dear Laity and Clergy in the Iowa Annual Conference,   Grace and peace! I am writing to you with an update from the Council of Bishops around the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. I am deeply grateful for your interest in and prayers for the Commission and for your presence at seven district gatherings around the state in March and April. As many of you know, the 2016 General Conference voted to form a special Commission to help us ...

Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU events

Scholarships offered for 2018 UMEIT:USA and NWCU events

2/7/2018
WASHINGTON -The Council of Bishops is offering scholarships for young adults (age 21-35) to attend the 2018 United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training (UMEIT:USA) and the National Workshop on Christian Unity (NWCU) this Spring.   UMEIT:USA is the annual training in the United States for United Methodists engaged in ecumenical and inter-religious ministry through the church. The NWCU is an opportunity for Christians who care about ecumenical and inter-religious ministry to learn and ...

Council of Bishops Executive Committee meets

1/23/2015
The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church held its annual January meeting on the 13th and 14th in Dallas, Texas. They shared devotions, heard reports and took actions on a number of items in their quest to lead the church in "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." THE GLOBAL NATURE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH was celebrated as preparations are being made for the next COB meeting in Berlin, Germany, May 1-7, 2015. ...

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