Bishop Webb reassigned to the Upper New York Area
This morning at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, Upper New York (UNY) Area Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb was reassigned to the UNY area. This means that the Upper New York Conference will be under his leadership for the next four years.
The Rev. Bill Gottschalk-Fielding – Conference Director of Connectional Ministries and Executive Assistant to the Bishop served as Upper New York’s clergy representative on the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee. Reflecting on many of Bishop Webb’s accomplishments, Rev. Gottschalk-Fielding said, “He has preached in local churches (large, small, urban, rural, thriving, and struggling) almost every other Sunday every year he’s been in Upper New York. He’s met with hundreds of local church clergy and lay people in their districts to teach about leadership and to listen to leaders share their struggles and triumphs. He’s invested in our youth, giving midnight keynote talks to youth at UpWord and hosting an annual Confirmation Retreat each spring. He’s insisted our conference face our financial challenges even while encouraging us to believe God always gives enough. He inspired UNY to tie our commitment to Africa University with Imagine No Malaria through A360.”
In his first Quadrenium of leadership, Bishop Webb has reminded us we are a people with a clear mission: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. He’s also helped us reclaim our understanding that local churches are the primary places where this mission is lived out.
Sherri Rood, Dean of the UNY Cabinet has been very impressed by Bishop Webb’s approach to transforming churches and lives. She said, “Under Bishop Webb’s guidance, conference leadership continues to seek ways to serve local churches and empower them for ministry. Bishop Webb has encouraged us to create ways to revitalize our existing congregations and create new faith communities in order to reach new people. He has challenged us to ask deeper questions in order to help our congregations move beyond institutional existence and become fruitful and effective places of life and faith where people meet Christ and lives are transformed. Bishop Webb’s humility, wisdom, and sense of humor have blessed our sessions of Annual Conference and our teams and committees. Through his leadership, we have been strengthened and are finding forward momentum as the Upper New York Conference. I give thanks to God for his leadership.”
Bishop Webb guided conference leaders and staff to refocus their work on supporting local churches in fulfilling their mission. He has also brought about the focus that the most important thing for the Conference to do in this season is to train, equip, and deploy Christian leaders.
Susan Hardy, appointed as UNY Conference lay leader at our Annual Conference last month, is excited to have the opportunity to work with Bishop Webb. Susan said, “When Bishop Webb preaches, we become a unified conference, focused on the grace and glory of Our Creator. We are no longer distracted by regional claims, or differences in our views of what constitutes a truly open table. We remember that we are more fully sisters and brothers through Christ Jesus. May our Bishop continue to shepherd us toward health and wholeness.”
With Bishop Webb’s reappointment, we can expect that the direction he has been leading over the last four years will continue to gain traction and move forward. The Future is bright for the Upper New York Conference. Let us all look forward to what the next four years will bring.