Magazine article The Christian Century

UMC: Fewer Bishops Would Save Millions

Magazine article The Christian Century

UMC: Fewer Bishops Would Save Millions

Article excerpt

Do United Methodists have more bishops than they need? When church officials figured that it takes $1 million over four years to support one bishop and his or her associated expenses, a denominational agency decided to propose not electing five new bishops in 2004.

The 8.4-million-member United Methodist Church has 50 bishops in the U.S. and 18 in conferences outside the country. Bishops are elected to their posts by five regional U.S. jurisdictions. Because of expected retirements and the fact that the growing Southeastern Jurisdiction is eligible to add a new bishop, directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration see an opportunity to ask each jurisdiction to forgo electing one bishop in 2004.

This recommendation was approved within a $586 million budget plan that will go before the quadrennial convention of United Methodists meeting April 27-May 7 next year in Pittsburgh. The budget includes a projected 20 percent increase in the Episcopal Fund, which supports active and retired bishops around the world, according to the United Methodist News Service.

"Every part of the church is being pressed to restructure and streamline," said Sue Sherbrooke of Seattle, who favored the bishop-reduction proposal at the finance agency's meeting in Los Angeles in early September. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.