What are a Bishop"s responsibilities and how are they elected?

A bishop serves as a general superintendent for the church, assigned to a geographical area. In the United Methodist tradition, bishops are not "ordained" as bishops, but are clergy elected and consecrated to the office of bishop. Bishops give general oversight to the worldly and spiritual interests of the church. Bishops also have the responsibility to see that the rules and regulations developed by General Conference are carried out. Bishops are responsible for setting all clergy appointments in the annual (regional) conferences they serve. The bishop is the presiding officer at the annual conference session and rules on points of law.

Bishops are elected by the jurisdictional conferences in the United States and by the central conferences outside of the United States. Any clergy member of an annual conference is eligible to be elected a bishop. Nominations or endorsements of individuals are common, but not necessary for election. The number of votes needed to elect a bishop is determined by each jurisdictional conference but the church"s Book of Discipline recommends that at least 60 percent of those present and voting be required to elect. Bishops are consecrated at the jurisdictional conference and are expected to report for work in their new areas September 1.

Published on www.sejumc.org.

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