The Council of Bishops, meeting April 18-20 in Tampa, moved in a new direction, embodying the direction of The Call to Action in re-forming and re-focusing our work. It is our hope to be more nimble and more visibly and creatively engaged in increasing the number of vital congregations across the connection of United Methodist people.
The Council of Bishops embraced a new configuration of its life as we move forward: a smaller executive committee of 15 bishops, nine leadership teams (reduced from over 20 committees), an annual meeting of The Council of Bishops (rather than two meetings a year) and an annual Forum of Active Bishops for the development of leadership and a learning community among those leading annual conferences.
It is our intent and hope to connect in vital ways with the Four Areas of Focus — Spiritual Leadership, Planting New Churches, Global Health, and Ministry with the Poor — and to connect helpfully with General Agencies or whatever new structures or emphases are put in place by the General Conference.
We are in ministry together with you all in this changing time. The new directions of The Council of Bishops are the result of scriptural study and prayer, teaching and learning, conversation and consultation, and faithful processes of group discernment.
May God bless us all as we seek to shape our lives together for the sake of the world Christ came to save.
With gratitude for our life together in The United Methodist Connection,
Hope Morgan Ward