Bishop Leeland represents Council of Bishops at election of new German bishop

March 23, 2017

[caption id="attachment_8861" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Bishop Leeland (R) with former Bishop Rosemarie Wenner (L)[/caption] (Revised from UM News Service article by Klaus Ulrich Ruof) The Rev. Harald Rückert, senior pastor at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Reutlingen, Germany, has been elected as a United Methodist bishop by delegates at the Germany Central Conference meeting. Bishop Paul L. Leeland of the Western North Carolina Conference represented the Council of Bishops at the conference and presided over the election process for Bishop Rückert. Rückert, 58, was elected March 15 at the quadrennial meeting in Hamburg, Germany. On the fourth ballot, he received 57 of the 81 votes cast to reach the required two-thirds majority. "We are a church together,” said the newly elected bishop in his first statement after the election. "I am very pleased to be able to shape and carry on the way of the church together with you.” [caption id="attachment_8862" align="alignright" width="300"] Bishop Ruckert[/caption] The 58-year-old theologian will succeed Bishop Rosemarie Wenner as bishop of the Germany Central Conference of the United Methodist Church on May 12. In Germany, bishops are elected for a four-year term and can be re-elected for an eight-year term for a maximum of 12 years. If they are serving at the time of their retirement, they are considered a bishop for life. If they are too young to retire after 12 years, they return to the pastorate. Wenner is retiring after Rückert takes over. The new bishop preached on March 18 at the conclusion of the Germany Central Conference and was blessed for his service as supervisory bishop of the Germany United Methodist Church. Read the entire article from UM News Service