Bishops install Weaver as president for two-year term

The Council of Bishops is “grasped by grace” as its newly elected officers dare to serve God and assist their peers in serving a broken and hurting world.

Bishop Peter D. Weaver, bishop of the Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church, made this statement as he was installed April 29 as the president of the denomination’s Council of Bishops for the next two years.

The United Methodist bishops voted to lengthen the term of their president from one to two years last November, a move they believe will provide better continuity of leadership. The Council includes 50 active bishops in the United States and 18 in Europe, Asia and Africa as well as about 75 retired bishops worldwide. They lead a denomination of about 10 million members.

Bishop Weaver succeeds Bishop Ruediger Minor of the Eurasia Area as the Council’s president.

“I have been tremendously grateful personally that you elected me to this office,” Minor said. He said his election honored him, the church in Russia and colleagues of the central conferences (regional units of the church in Asia, Africa and Europe). “We indeed have made use of this unique gift to be involved in our church.”

Minor said that with the exception of the Roman Catholic Church, no other denomination shares the needs, the pain, the joy and the experience of being the body of Christ in the world. 

Prior to passing the gavel of leadership to Weaver, Minor said that the bishops strive to adhere to John Wesley’s mantra of the world being their parish. He added, “To know about it is one thing, but to use this knowledge in bringing to a hurting world a healing word is what we are called (to do).”

Minor challenged Weaver to be a servant leader among his peers and with them, as they collectively use their gifts in outreach and witness to the world.

Weaver told the bishops that they are “grasped by the grace that has given extraordinary gifts throughout this council.”  He urged them to continue to give of their gifts until they heal.

“We have been grasped by grace and given a vision of a new creation through Jesus Christ,” he said. Through grace Christ has entrusted the bishops with the ministry of reconciliation.

“I am grateful that we have been grasped by grace that alone is the reason for our wholeness, our salvation, our transformation.”

Elected in July 1996, Bishop Weaver is assigned to the Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church, which includes 240,000 members and 1,000 churches in the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware conferences (regions) .

*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer.

News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7. After May 10: (615) 742-5470.

Radio Stories

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE
General Church
A group of centrist, progressive and traditionalist church leaders have come up with a plan for The United Methodist Church to separate amicably into two or more denominations. It's called the Indianapolis Plan, after where the group met. Photo by William Sturgell, courtesy of Pixabay; graphic by UM News.

Group drafts separation plan for denomination

Citing irreconcilable differences over homosexuality, a theologically diverse team of 12 envisions ʻnew expressions’ of United Methodism in a plan for the church’s future.
General Church
Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso “Rudy” Juan, who leads the Davao Area in the southern Philippines, preaches at the Commission on General Conference meeting in Lexington, Ky. Juan expressed disappointment in the decision not to hold the 2024 General Conference in the Philippines. Photo by Heather Hahn, UM News.

Plans canceled for GC2024 in Philippines

The 2024 gathering was expected to be the first time The United Methodist Church’s lawmaking assembly met outside the United States.
General Conference
Spare voting machines rest on a table at the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Ask The UMC: How are decisions made at General Conference?

General Conference is the highest legislative body in The United Methodist Church. It usually convenes once every four years to determine the denomination’s future direction.