Council of Bishops meet next week at Lake Junaluska

BishopCrestarticlesizeNASHVILLE, Tenn — In a press release issued yesterday, the United Methodist Council of Bishops announced their next gathering will be next week from November 10-15, 2013 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina.

The Council of Bishops—made up of 46 active bishops in the United States, 20 bishops in Europe, Asia and Africa, and 97 retired bishops worldwide—provides leadership and helps set the direction of the 12 million-member church and its mission throughout the world.

“The clear priority for the Council of Bishops is to increase vitality in our congregations in all the regions where we are present,” said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, president of the Council. “We will engage in prayer, theological reflection and visioning so that we help one another to train leaders, to create new faith communities, and to engage in ministries with the poor and health programs like Imagine No Malaria.”

The press release did not offer any insight regarding the Council’s intentions in addressing the recent action by Bishop Melvin G. Talbert to preside at the celebration of marriage service for a same-sex couple.

On Sunday, November 10, a memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Waynesville.  Bishop Wenner will present the President’s Address at 9:45 a.m. on Monday. On Wednesday, the Council will travel to the Qualla Boundary, which is part of the original homeland of the Cherokee Nation. The area is currently home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, direct descendants of those who were able to avoid forced removal to the area that is now Oklahoma.

“We will spend an afternoon with our sisters and brothers of the Cherokee Nation, following up on Acts of Repentance at General Conference,” said Bishop Larry Goodpaster of the Western North Carolina Episcopal Area. “We will remember the start of the Trail of Tears 175 years ago and point toward our Council meeting in Oklahoma later this quadrennium,” he said, referring to the Council meeting scheduled for November 2014.

The Council will spiritually center itself in daily worship and communion, along with small covenant groups for prayer and reflection. Plenary sessions, held each morning Monday-Friday, as well as Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, are open to the news media and the public. Among other reports, some of the items that will be discussed include:

  • Objectives for the quadrennium: adaptive challenges and vital congregations
  • Four Areas of Focus,  agency alignment, 2016 budget process
  • Elections: President, President-Designate, Secretary
  • Preparing for 2016 General Conference
  • Imagine No Malaria
  • 2016  Episcopal Address
  • Theological foundations of United Methodist identity and mission

During the six-day meeting, the bishops will also have various small group meetings, including accountability groups which were created as part of a covenant to hold one another accountable as they work together to increase the number of vital congregations and engage congregations in mission and ministry in the Four Areas of Focus.

UMReporter Staff

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FredKylejamesDeen Thompson Recent comment authors
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I am not expecting much at all to happen at the council. Why should this council be different? But, the most urgent thing to be discussed should be the disolving of the umc…………..



Deen Thompson
Deen Thompson

The bishops will continue to follow up on Acts of Repentance that began at General Conference 2012. During the Trail of Tears 175 years ago, the then Tennessee Conference withdrew the only 2 Methodist preachers who were working and willing to walk with the Indians. So it is not the first time that the church limited her ministry with a marginalized group of God's family. Wonder when the church will come together for Acts of Repentance towards her GLBT members?


Churches are called to be in ministry all people and we value all people. There is sacred worth in all people. There are many GLBT people in the church who served faithfully, and the church has fallen short in it's ministry to GLBT many times. However, why do we need change our whole theology of marriage that has been informed by thousands of years of Christian tradition and Scripture? Is it because we are too afraid of what culture would think? The early church was living in a similar time to what we are living in. The church will always… Read more »

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