Bishops meet for Pan-Methodist commission and consultation

The Pan-Methodist Commission and Bishops’ Consultation
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
March 10-12 and 12-14, 2023
The Pan-Methodist Commission is an annual gathering of the six communions who signed the Pan-Methodist full communion agreement.  Those communions include: The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZ), The African Union Methodist Protestant Church (AUMP), The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME), The Union American Methodist Episcopal Church (UAME) and The United Methodist Church (UMC). 

The meeting is designed to be the annual connection among the nine-member delegations of each of the communions in order to ensure the full communion agreement is being upheld.  This year the meeting was held at the Westin Airport Hotel in Atlanta, GA on March 10 and 11.  United Methodist Commission members presently included: Bishop Sally Dyck, Bishop Jonathan Holston, Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Rev. Dr. Marvin Moss and Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst.  Unable to attend were: Bishop Minerva Carcaño, Rev. Dr. Victoria Sizemore Baldwin, Mr. Byrd Bonner, Ms. Dee Hicks, and Mrs. Mariellyn Grace. 
The meeting was chaired by Bishop Adolphus Scott of the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church.  Every day began with devotions offered by various members.  Denominational updates and reports were shared.  Dr. Mary Love offered the Administrative Secretary’s report, requesting the commission assign a mentee to her, so she might begin the process of training someone to follow in her footsteps. 
Dr. Luther Smith offered the Children in Poverty Campaign report, noting the ministry has a new website: He recommended all annual conferences:
  1. Have a campaign liaison
  2. Have a functioning denominational liaison
  3. Put a link to their website on all their websites
  4. Join their Facebook page
  5. Follow them on Twitter
  6. Utilize the campaign brochures
  7. Advocate for children with their state legislators
Rev. Mitchel Lewis of the UM General Board of Higher Education reported on behalf of the Pan-Methodist Endorsing ministry.  The AME, AMEZ, CME and UMC use the same online application process for chaplaincy endorsements.  He recommended the Pan-Methodist communions also begin to do some joint chaplaincy training.
The finance committee report let the commission members know they are “comfortable” in the bank account, even after being hit by fraud during the year.  Recommendations will be put in place to lessen the possibility of this happening again.
Some of the other highlights came from:
  • The Wesleyan Heritage and Witness Committee, who recommended teaching about some aspect of our shared Wesleyan heritage be offered at every commission meeting.
  • The Publications Committee, who presented an updated brochure that can now be viewed using the QR found at
  • The Higher Education Committee, who is in the process of creating a list of each of the HBCU’s in all of our communions.  They also expressed concern that The UMC is no longer allowing Pan-Methodist students to take fully online courses from UM institutions.  A recommendation was made that an inquiry to the UM University Senate be conducted.
  • The Young Adult Committee, who would like to continue their desire to uphold the freedom schools. 
  • The Social Concerns Committee, who encouraged communions to speak up about several social justice issues. 
The next Pan-Methodist Commission meeting will take place at Logan Temple in Knoxville, TN, March 15 and 16, 2024.
Every other year, in connection with the Pan-Methodist Commission Meeting, there is a special opportunity for bishops of the six Pan-Methodist communions to come together for a couple days of worship, fellowship, sharing and visioning.  The latest of these “consultations” was held at the Westin Airport Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia March 12-14, 2023, following the year’s commission meeting.
The following sixteen UM bishops were able to participate in this event: Bishop Thomas Bickerton, Bishop Sally Dyck, Bishop Jonathan Holston, Bishop David Barr, Bishop Frank Beard, Bishop Tom Berlin, Bishop Kenetha Bingham-Tsai, Bishop Debbie Wallace-Padgett, Bishop David Graves, Bishop Tracy Malone, Bishop Sharma Lewis, Bishop Daniel Lunge, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, Bishop Julius Trimble, Bishop Ken Carter and Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi.  They gathered with bishops of the other Pan-Methodist churches for a meal at Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta.  They also took a group photo and celebrated the unity of the commission and their shared call to action in a worship service in which Bishop Reginald Jackson preached about being “poised, purposeful and prophetic.”
The time for the bishops was clearly one of spiritual renewal, and this particular aspect of the gathering was of great importance to those who gathered.  Bishop Sally Dyck wrote afterward: “The 15th Consultation of Methodist Bishops was one of the best that I have attended and according to some other UM bishops present, also for them.  We experienced a rich opportunity to share deeply with each other about coming out of covid, facing the challenges of our contexts as well as our specific denominations.  We have not met in person for over 3 years so a depth of relationship was palpable.  And, the preaching was excellent and did our souls good!”
Bishop Tracy Malone also wrote to her annual conference that she was “… blessed to attend the 15th Consultation of Methodist Bishops.  It was a time of spiritual renewal… a time of worship, fellowship, learning and visioning.”
In addition to worship and fellowship, the bishops received a presentation from Gammon Seminary President, Dr. Candice Lewis.  They learned from Bishop Sally Dyck about a special study pilgrimage being offered to them by the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome and they received updates from the preceding Pan-Methodist Commission, including a report from Dr. Luther Smith of the Campaign for Children in Poverty.  Bishop Debbie Wallace-Padgett said: “One of the highlights of the Pan-Methodist Bishops’ Consultation was Dr. Luther Smith’s update on our joint efforts to address systemic issues that contribute to the poverty of children. Though significant strides continue to be made by Pan-Methodist local churches and conferences, there is still so much work to do in this ministry area. As Nelson Mandela said, ‘There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children’.”
For more information about the Pan-Methodist Commission go to  For more information about the Campaign for Children in Poverty go to