Role of Bishops at GC 2019
January 4, 2019
Bishop Leeland requested that the following message from the Council of Bishops be shared with the Western North Carolina Conference.
Role of Bishops at 2019 Special Session of the General Conference
Statement by Bishop Ken Carter
President, Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church
As we approach the Special Session of the General Conference, we remain in an extended season of prayer with you. We are always aware that the office of bishop, entrusted by you to us, is a gift and a sacred privilege. We seek to fulfill this role with humility and faithfulness.
Bishops did not propose legislation. Consistent with the Judicial Council’s action in Decision 1360, the legislation was proposed by the Commission on a Way Forward, and found to be in order.
Bishops do engage in the teaching office (BOD, 403.B) during this season. In matters of church unity, doctrine and mission, bishops have a teaching role (BOD, 403.E). This clear understanding led the 2016 General Conference to ask the bishops to lead in finding a way forward beyond our divisions (BOD, 414.1).
When the church is in conference, bishops preside (BOD, 403.F); they order the deliberation, in accordance with the rules of the General Conference but do not vote on the composition of delegations or the substance of the petitions.
We honor the roles of the elected delegations, the Commission on the General Conference, the Judicial Council and indeed all of our global membership. Together, we commit ourselves daily to the command of the apostle Paul, to “make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4. 3).