Bishops and Ordination and LGBTQ Inclusion

In the UMC, Bishops’ power is intentionally limited but there are ways Bishops can lead LGBTQ inclusion now. Bishops lead Annual Conferences, but mostly in influence rather than power. As an example, a Bishop commissions and ordains new clergy on behalf of an Annual Conference. The final decision for which clergy are ordained and commissioned, however, falls to the Clergy Session, not the Bishop. This is clear in prgh 324 of the Book of Discipline and the related Judicial Council decisions. A Bishop is charged with enforcing our Discipline, however.

I believe that in the period we find ourselves in now, a Bishop’s role would be to allow annual conferences who are prepared to move forward with inclusion to do just that without interfering. This is a deferential step to allow the authority granted to the Clergy Session.

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