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 meeting that will also include continuing work to dismantle racism, promote discipleship; and strengthen mission strategies in the world-wide denomination. 

“I am thankful for the work of the bishops who have met on several occasions to focus on topics of creation care, climate justice, the future of The United Methodist Church and the role of the episcopacy in this liminal season,” said Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president of the Council. 
She added her affirmation of bishops who have so willingly agreed to take on added responsibilities during this time.

The meeting opens on Tuesday, Nov. 2, with a Memorial Service to remember and honor bishops and spouses who have died since April 2021.  Among those to be memorialized are Bishop Daniel C. Arichea who died June 1, 2021; Bishop Joseph H. Yeakel, who died July 4, 2021; Bishop Beverly Shamana, who died August 1, 2021; and Mr. Jeff Swenson (spouse of Bishop Mary Ann Swenson), who died August 22, 2021.

Election of officers
The bishops will elect a new president, president-designate, and secretary of the Council.  The current officers are Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, president; Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president-designate; and Bishop Tracy Smith Malone, secretary. The new officers will take office at the end of the Spring 2022 COB meeting and will serve for two years.

“I look forward to passing the gavel next April to the newly elected officers.  In the meantime, we have much to do as we are called to lead the church through this important season of its life,” offered Bishop Harvey. 

The COB meeting will be livestreamed via COB Facebook (facebook.com/umcbishops) and the COB YouTube Channel on two days: Tuesday, Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time.; and on Friday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Media Contact:

Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga

Director of Communications - Council of Bishops

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(202) 748-5172 (Office)