NEJ Committee on Episcopacy Affirms ICOE Recommendation

The NEJ Committee on Episcopacy has been meeting frequently since General Conference as we have contemplated the implications of the General Conference actions for our jurisdiction. On Wednesday, July 3, the Committee affirmed the recommendation of the Inter-jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy (ICOE), which was released earlier on July 3. Our entire committee is a part of the ICOE. This decision, which was overwhelmingly supported by the ICOE (91 – 11), was more narrowly supported by a 60% majority of the NEJ committee (12 – 8). The necessity of reducing bishops across the jurisdictions has been challenging and we recognize that this decision may be disappointing to some. The ICOE has discerned creative solutions in a spirit of collaboration.

The decision is that the NEJ will share one bishop with the SEJ for the coming quadrennium. This arrangement would bring the total number of bishops to 32 across the United States. The bishop and the conferences involved will be announced at jurisdictional conference. In alignment with this decision, the committee is reporting to the jurisdiction that no elections will be held in the NEJ.

The Committee on Episcopacy will meet in Pittsburgh prior to the opening of the NEJ Conference. Because six bishops will serve 10 annual conferences, most NEJ bishops will serve more than one conference. For this reason, the COE will be recommending some newly aligned episcopal areas.

The NEJ COE has worked hard to honor the work of the General Conference through the Inter-jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, as well as the NEJ Task Force. We look forward to sharing the results of our work with the NEJ next week.

Judi Kenaston, Chair