History was made in the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference when the Rev. Héctor A. Burgos-Núñez, the superintendent of the Central District in the Greater New Jersey Conference, was elected as bishop in The United Methodist Church’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference.
With his election, he became the first Hispanic/Latino bishop elected in the jurisdiction.
Delegates elected Burgos Nov. 2 on the third ballot. He received 94 votes out of 150 valid ballots cast. He needed 90 to be elected.
Burgos was the first bishop elected at the Nov. 2-4 meeting.
“Dios es bueno,” the bishop-elect said in his first remarks to the delegates, guests and other bishops. “Todo el tiempo. God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good.”
Standing at the podium with his wife, Jazelis, Burgos thanked her for being his support and strength during his time in ministry and during this episcopal journey.
“Friends, some of you heard me say that I’m coming to this with my eyes wide open,” he said. “Open your eyes … look for the blessings and opportunities God has for us. Friends, the world needs us … all of us. Let’s go and reform the world, In Christ’s name.”
Burgos was elected by the Northeastern Jurisdiction’s 184 total delegates and reserves, an equal number of United Methodist clergy and laity, from the 13 states and the District of Columbia forming the jurisdiction. The assignments of bishops in the Northeastern Jurisdiction will be announced later in the week, with their service to begin Jan. 1.
Burgos was the endorsed candidate of MARCHA, the Hispanic/Latino caucus of The United Methodist Church.
He also served as interim executive director, NextGen Ministries, in the Greater New Jersey Conference; director of worship and urban ministries in Greater New Jersey; lead pastor at Oasis United Methodist Church in Pleasantville, New Jersey, from 2009 to 2014, and as associate pastor, First United Methodist Church in Tuckerton and assistant pastor at West Creek United Methodist Church, both in New Jersey.
In The United Methodist Church, bishops are ordained elders who are called to “lead and oversee the spiritual and temporal affairs of The United Methodist Church.” Bishops, in consultation with district superintendents, are responsible for appointing clergy. They also preside at annual conferences, jurisdictional conferences and General Conference, the denomination’s top law-making assembly.
He and other new bishops are coming aboard as the denomination deals with the continuing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising congregational disaffiliations amid a denominational splintering.
Alsgaard is pastor at Community United Methodist Church in Crofton, Md.
Find all of UM News’s coverage of the 2022 episcopal elections of The United Methodist Church on our landing page.
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