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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    NEJ College of Bishops Letter Concerning Episcopal Coverage

    March 29, 2021 / By NEJ College of Bishops

    Editor's note: The following letter is from the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops sent to the Upper New York Conference on March 29, 2021.

    Grace and Peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ,

    We thank God for you and commend the clergy and congregational leaders for your leadership. These have been difficult and isolating times for many and yet you are leading our most vital ministry, congregations, and community ministries with conviction and determination. You have demonstrated the gifts of courage, leadership, innovation, and grace. Thank you.

    Today, we announce the coverage of Episcopal Areas in the Northeastern Jurisdiction effective Sept. 1, 2021.

    The pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges in the life of the Church. One area of challenge has been our ability to conference together in the General and Jurisdictional Conferences. General Conference sets the policies for the Church, elects new general agency leadership and sets the global direction and budget for the Church. The Jurisdictional Conference elects new Bishops and assigns Bishops to episcopal areas.

    Due to the 2020 General Conference being postponed a second time, it has meant the continual postponement of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Two of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Bishops, Bishops Peggy Johnson and Jeremiah Park have requested and been granted voluntarily retirement starting Sept. 1, 2021 under paragraph 408.2 (b) of The Book of Discipline.

    Bishop Johnson will move to Virginia in August of 2021 to employ her gifts and experience to serve in ministry with congregations and provide consultation with deaf and disability ministry in the NEJ and across the connection.

    Bishop Park will move to New Jersey in August of 2021 to employ his gifts and experience to serve in ministry as the Presiding Bishop with both the Northeastern Jurisdiction Korean Mission and the United Methodist Mission in Mongolia.

    The 2020 postponed General Conference will gather in person August 29 through Sept. 6, 2022 in Minneapolis, MN followed by U.S. Jurisdictional Conferences to be held in October of 2022 for the election and assignment of Bishops.

    Because two Bishops will retire this year, effective Sept. 1, 2021, The Book of Discipline authorizes the College of Bishops to provide coverage of open episcopal areas until new Bishops are elected and assigned by the Jurisdictional Conference. This coverage will be for 16 months from Sept. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2022.

    The College of Bishops after consulting with the Northeastern Jurisdiction Episcopacy Committee and individual Bishops, and after prayer and meeting several times about coverage during this interim period, announces the following Bishops will provide episcopal leadership and coverage within the Northeastern Jurisdiction.

    • Episcopal Areas: West Virginia Area (West Virginia Conference), Pittsburgh Area (Western Pennsylvania Conference) and Harrisburg Area (Susquehanna Conference), Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball.
    • Episcopal Areas: Washington Area (Baltimore-Washington Conference) and Philadelphia Area (Peninsula Delaware Conference) – Bishop LaTrelle Easterling.
    • Episcopal Areas: New Jersey Area (Greater New Jersey Conference) and Philadelphia Area (Eastern Pennsylvania Conference) – Bishop John Schol.
    • Upper New York Area (Upper New York Conference), Bishop Mark Webb.
    • Boston Area (New England Conference), Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar.
    • New York Area (New York Conference), Bishop Thomas Bickerton.

    These are temporary arrangements and configurations to provide coverage. The next in-person Jurisdictional Conference will set the episcopal areas and assignments of Bishops for the next quadrennium.

    We thank you for your continued ministry and service within The United Methodist Church and the world. We invite you to pray for the Church and our leadership as Bishops as we serve together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

    In Christ,

    Sudarshana Devadhar, Boston Area
    Jeremiah J. Park, Harrisburg Area
    John R. Schol, New Jersey Area
    Thomas J. Bickerton, New York Area
    Peggy A. Johnson, Philadelphia Area
    Cynthia Moore Koikoi, Pittsburgh Area
    Mark Webb, Upper New York Area
    LaTrelle Easterling, Washington Area
    Sandra Steiner Ball, West Virginia Area

    George W. Bashore
    Violet L. Fisher
    William Boyd Grove
    Susan W. Hassinger
    Neil L. Irons
    Clifton S. Ives
    Alfred Johnson
    Ernest S. Lyght
    Marcus Matthews
    Jane Allen Middleton
    Susan M. Morrison
    Forrest C. Stith
    Peter D. Weaver
    Joseph H. Yeakes

    TAGGED / Benefits and Administrative Services / Camp and Retreat Ministry (CRM) / Communications / Connectional Ministries / Episcopal Office / Finance / Ministry Shares / New Faith Communities / Older Adult Ministry / Annual Conference 2020

    With more than 100,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 675 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."