Recently Read: Jurisdictional Conferences Gear Up to Elect Bishops

Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS

by Cynthia B. Astle

Fifty-five candidates — including three openly gay clergy and a nominee who has been suspended pending charges — will vie for 15 bishop seats in five U.S. jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church during the week of July 11.

The three openly gay clergy came out this spring in a letter signed by more than 100 United Methodist clergy acknowledging their sexual orientation. Two are in the Western Jurisdiction, the Rev. Karen Oliveto, pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco (California-Nevada Annual Conference) and the Rev. Frank Wulf, pastor of Echo Park United Methodist Church in Los Angeles (California-Pacific Annual Conference. The third, the Rev. David Meredith, pastor of Clifton UMC and Director of Urban Ministry, Ohio River Valley District (West Ohio Annual Conference).

Oliveto and Wulf have been endorsed by their respective annual conferences; Meredith has not. Oliveto and Meredith are in legal same-sex marriages; Wulf says he is in a “covenanted relationship.”

The United Methodist Church forbids ordaining LGBT people, but this past spring more than 110 clergy have publicly acknowledged their sexual orientation in protest of the denomination’s continued stances that hold homosexual behavior to be “incompatible with Christian teaching.” If any of the gay candidates are elected bishop, they could immediately be brought up on charges for violating the Book of Discipline, and likely would be barred from taking office.

The fourth episcopal nominee whose candidacy is uncertain is the Rev. Jisun Kwak, who was endorsed by the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference where she served as superintendent of the Delaware Bay District. She has been suspended from ministry pending the outcome of an investigation into charges brought against her by the bishop and cabinet of the annual conference.

The nature of the charges brought against Rev. Kwak has not been specified by Bishop John Schol, who has recused himself from the disciplinary process because of their working relationship.

Read the rest at UM Insight.

Cynthia B. Astle serves as Editor & Founder of United Methodist Insight.

Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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3 Comments on "Recently Read: Jurisdictional Conferences Gear Up to Elect Bishops"

The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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Richard F Hicks
I was once asked “Do you understand what a bishop is?” Yes, I do, history says that a bishop is the first one to die. In the 1980s, I had the honor of hearing a man who was then training Israeli officers and NCO for the Israeli special forces. He said, “I tell my students that their lives should be lived such that their men will be willing to follow them into death.” What in the lives of the current slate shows that any one of them meets this requirement? Thank you, Richard F Hicks, OKC

Let’s hope they elect a few real leaders.


How can we even hope? The whole class of nominees has been reared and educated in a very liberal progressive church. They can only reflect what it is that they have been taught through their journey in the umc……………..

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