The Indiana Conference delegation to next summer’s North Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church in Akron, Ohio, is in the process of discerning whether or not there is an Elder in good standing, who should be named as a candidate for the episcopal office of bishop. At the present time, we do not know whether a new bishop will need to be elected at the conference, nonetheless the delegation has decided to proceed and identify a potential candidate from the Indiana Conference.
Names of such candidates will be shared at the delegation’s next meeting Saturday, Nov. 19. Any member of an Indiana United Methodist church is welcome to submit the name of an ordained Elder in good standing that he or she feels would be an excellent bishop. Submit the name to Ed Fenstermacher by Thursday, Nov. 17 and he will share the name of that person with the delegation and briefly explain why you believe this person would make a good bishop. The delegation will then have a period of time to prayerfully discern which of the names offered – if any – is the one the delegation will endorse.
The delegation identified a couple dozen attributes an episcopal candidate should possess. Here are seven attributes delegates feel are most important.
- Has a genuine and growing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord; active prayer life, tithes, etc.
- Is committed to the church’s mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and to the UMC’s doctrine and polity.
- Listens and communicates well, meaning he or she is able to articulate the mission, inspire others to action, preach, cheerlead and affirm.
- Has the courage to hold both pastors and congregations accountable for the way they live and for their effectiveness.
- Is committed to uphold The United Methodist Book of Discipline, and will not use the office to actively seek to change the Discipline.
- Has a substantial record of making disciples and raising up leaders, including candidates to ordained ministry.
- Is able to deal with conflict in a healthy and effective way.
Whether or not you submit a name, please keep your Indiana Conference delegation and this process of electing a bishop in your prayers.
For more information and questions about the election of episcopal candidates, contact Ed Fenstermacher, Indiana Conference Jurisdictional Delegation chairperson, at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 877-781-6706.