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Puerto Rico extends Bishop Vera’s term to 2009

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Bishop Juan A. Vera Méndez
May 2, 2006

By United Methodist News Service*

The episcopal term of Methodist Bishop Juan A. Vera Méndez of Puerto Rico has been extended an additional period of three years through Dec. 31, 2009.

The action was taken during a special session of the General Conference of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico in April. About 83 percent of the ministerial and lay delegates approved the recommendation of the church’s episcopacy and superintendency committee.

Vera was first elected in 1997 to finish the term of Bishop Víctor L. Bonilla. At the 2000 General Conference, he was re-elected for a six-year term.

The bishop thanked delegates for the vote of confidence and the affirmation of his leadership and the leadership of his work team. “The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico is in a great moment, developing projects of transformation and social impact and evangelization all for the well-being of the church and the country,” he said.

Vera is president of the Council of Methodist Bishops in Latin America and the Caribbean and a member of the United Methodist Council of Bishops. He also is assisting the Methodist church of Colombia as an “accompanying bishop.”

The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico and the United Methodist Church have a “concordant agreement” that recognizes the special connection of the Puerto Rican church, which became autonomous in 1992.

In other action, the Puerto Rico General Conference changed the name of its annual assembly from “annual conference” to “conexional conference,” which will meet every two years, starting in 2006.

The General Conference will be in session every six years instead of every four years, to allow more opportunities to implement programs, projects and initiatives before the reports are presented. Pastoral appointments and ordinations will take place every two years instead of annually.

* Information for this report was provided by the Methodist church of Puerto Rico.

News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

 
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