|Three Western U.S. bishops get new assignments|
Newly elected United Methodist Bishop Elaine J.W.
Stanovsky is greeted by members of the church’s Denver Area, where she
will serve the next four years. Episcopacy assignments were announced
July 19 during the church’s Western Jurisdictional Conference. A UMNS
photo by Marta W. Aldrich.
By Marta W. Aldrich*
July 19, 2008 | PORTLAND, Ore. (UMNS)
Two United Methodist bishops elected in the Western United States have
been assigned to the church’s Denver and Seattle areas, while one of the
region’s four other bishops is leaving the Rocky Mountains to return to
The Rev. Grant Hagiya is congratulated by Marilyn Magee Talbert after being elected bishop July 18. A UMNS photo by
Marta W. Aldrich.
Under assignments announced July 19, Bishop Elaine J.W. Stanovsky,
elected only hours earlier by the United Methodist Western
Jurisdictional Conference, is being sent from Seattle, where she has
been a district superintendent, to the Denver Area, where she will
oversee the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone annual (regional)
The Denver Area is the church’s largest geographic conference in the
contiguous United States and includes Colorado, Utah and the
southeastern two-thirds of Wyoming.
Meeting with members from Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone following
the announcement, Stanovsky offered thanks for their "warm welcome" as
she was presented a basket filled with hometown maps, caps, books and
even salt water taffy.
"I’m sensing a spirit of openness to building new partnerships to strengthen and grow the church," she said later.
Bishop Grant Hagiya, elected to the episcopacy July 18, will head to
the Seattle-based Pacific Northwest Conference, which includes
Washington, a portion of Idaho and the Alaska Missionary Conference. A
former district superintendent in Los Angeles, Hagiya is most recently
executive director of Leadership Development and the Center of
Leadership Excellence, a joint project of the church’s
California-Pacific Annual Conference and the Claremont School of
"We didn’t talk business," said Hagiya of his brief meeting with his
new flock after the announcement. "There was very much a sense of
hospitality. Hopefully, it will model the radical hospitality we wish to
have for the whole conference."
Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., after serving the church’s Denver Area
for the past eight years, is returning to the San Francisco Area, where
he was a member for 20 years as a pastor, district superintendent and
conference council director. His new assignment involves overseeing the
California-Nevada Conference, which includes northern California and
"I’m serving the church so I was prepared to go where sent," Brown said.
"But it’s exciting to go somewhere that I have existing relationships."
Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. and his wife, Minnie, are
greeted by members of the California-Nevada Conference. A UMNS photo by
Marta W. Aldrich.
Bishops remaining in their current assignments are Minerva Carcaño,
beginning a second four-year term in the Phoenix Area, which covers the
Desert Southwest Conference in Arizona; Robert Hoshibata, beginning a
second term in the Portland Area, which oversees the Oregon-Idaho
Conference; and Mary Ann Swenson, beginning a third term in the Los
Angeles Area and the California-Pacific Conference, which includes
southern California, Guam and Hawaii. Swenson also will supervise the
jurisdiction’s Korean mission.
All assignments become effective Sept. 1.
Applause erupted among delegates and visitors as the assignments were
announced July 19, the closing day of the Western Jurisdictional
Conference. The gathering had begun July 16 and included bishops’
elections that went into the early-morning hours of the final day. After
the assignments were announced, members of each area surrounded their
bishop in a show of support, accompanied by hymns and other songs.
Brown clapped and sang along as his group burst into "San Francisco, here I come/ right back where I started from."
Ripe for growth
The Western Jurisdiction’s six bishops supervise an area that is home
to 390,000 United Methodists in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado,
Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, as
well as Guam and other U.S. territories in the Pacific.
The Western United States is considered a region ripe for evangelism and
church growth for The United Methodist Church, which has designated
starting new churches as one of its four denominational areas of focus,
along with renewing existing congregations.
Delegates and guests meet in Portland, Ore., for the United Methodist Western Jurisdictional Conference. A UMNS photo
by Linda Sullivan.
A consecration service for the new and existing bishops was scheduled
for later July 19 in Portland. The two vacancies on the Western
Jurisdiction College of Bishops were created by the retirement of Bishop
Beverly Shamana and the resignation of Bishop Edward Paup, who has been
elected to lead the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
*Aldrich is news editor of United Methodist News Service.
News media contact: Marta Aldrich, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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