Bishop Recounts… NCJ will keep nine
NCJ will not lose a bishop
Michigan Area Sr. Editor M. Kay DeMoss files this story detailing the reversal of General Finance and Administration’s (GCFA) proposal to reduce the number of bishops in the jurisdiction.
The North Central Jurisdiction reviewed membership statistics and demonstrates there will still be nine bishops in the region for the coming quadrennium.
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) had notified the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) in September that because of the reported membership numbers, the Book of Discipline formula for bishops indicated the General Conference could determine there would be one less bishop for the area.
In a review of numbers, the NCJ reports that the jurisdiction does actually have enough members to retain nine bishops for the episcopal area. Following the September 23 GCFA release that reported NCJ membership at 1,210,538, conference statisticians discovered that new disciples who joined the church through new works had been inadvertently omitted from that total.
Bishop John Hopkins, president of the North Central Jurisdiction (NCJ) College of Bishops said “I appreciate the joint efforts of [General Secretary] Moses Kumar, [the staff of] GCFA, the NCJ College of Bishops, [the] Episcopacy Committee, and the conference statisticians who worked together to ensure that all disciples of Jesus Christ in the jurisdiction are represented in the latest membership statistics. While we will maintain our current nine episcopal areas next quadrennium, we need to continue working to expand our ministries to reach new people for Jesus Christ.”
Bishop Michael Coyner, president of GCFA said “We applaud the efforts of the North Central
Jurisdiction to review their reported membership numbers. We understand processes are in place moving forward to assure that all professing members of The United Methodist Church are accounted for in the statistical reports of the jurisdiction, conference, district and local churches. This news is exciting because it represents the people who are a part of new church initiatives within the jurisdiction…letting us all know that United Methodists are still committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ.”
With the new information, the board of directors of GCFA will not make any recommendations to the General Conference for a review of the number of bishops for the North Central Jurisdiction.
Hopkins adds, “Today’s news is good but the reality is that we could find ourselves below the threshold prior to NCJ 2020. So as we look to the start of a new quadrennium, it’s important that we each consider new ways that we can offer the love of Christ to those in need in our communities.”