April 29, 2004
By Linda Green*
(UMNS) — 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.
A UMNS photo by Rasul Welch.
Peter D. Weaver (left) is installed as president of the denomination's
Council of Bishops, replacing Bishop Ruediger R. Minor (right).
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
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
Bishop Weaver succeeds Bishop Ruediger Minor of the Eurasia Area as the Council’s president.
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.”
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.
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).”
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
A UMNS photo by Rasul Welch.
Bishop Peter D. Weaver (left) receives congratulations from Bishop D. Max Whitfield.
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.
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.
am grateful that we have been grasped by grace that alone is the reason
for our wholeness, our salvation, our transformation.”
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
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer.
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