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Showing posts from July, 2008

First Female United Methodist Bishop in Africa Elected

Did you all notice the news that Rev. Joaquina Filipe Nhanala was elected this July as the first female United Methodist bishop in Africa? I think that's pretty exciting, although I haven't seen much about it in the blogosphere except over at Luke Wetzel's blog.

An excerpt from the news story:
Besides serving a large church in Matola, a suburb of Maputo, Nhanala has coordinated women's projects for the Mozambique church and led a World Relief HIV/AIDS program designed to mobilize churches for education and advocacy in Mozambique's three southern provinces. Nhanala and the program were featured in the 2004 Bread for the World video, "Keep the Promise on Hunger and Health."Among those celebrating her election were members of the denomination's Missouri Annual (regional) Conference and its Mozambique Initiative ministry, which connects churches, groups and individuals in Missouri with partner United Methodist congregations and districts in Mozambique to s…

Review: Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson

I finally got a chance to finish Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson while I was at jurisdictional conference last week. I had been reading Lisa's blog for a while (not even sure how I ever stumbled on it in the first place actually) and so asked for the book for Christmas. I got the book, but then it sat sadly with many other unread books for the longest time. I just wasn't in the mood to read it - I picked it up a couple of time and read the first page, and then put it down for months.

Finally, something sparked, and I read and read. I really enjoyed this book. I don't usually read fiction that I would call "Christian Fiction," but this book seems more a book about life, identity, and call, from a Christian point of view than a "Christian Fiction" book. (Maybe I just haven't read any good "Christian Fiction.")

The main character is Heather, a married woman with a wealthy physician husband and a picked-on teenage son. Heather is a spender. She buy…

Reflections: Jurisdictional Conference

Friday I returned home from a week at Jurisdictional Conference and the preceding NEJCYM (jurisdictional youth) event, the Nor'Easter. I've been seriously bad at blogging - seem to have lost my rhythm! But I'm hoping to be more consistent for the rest of the summer. Some highlights:

Nominations - Nominations to General Boards and Agencies and to Jurisdictional teams (Tables in the NEJ) happen at Jurisdictional Conference. I had the honor of being one of four nominating committee members from my episcopal area, a task I had also done as a lay delegate in 2000. The process can be extremely confusing, sometimes very fast, sometimes very slow. It operates almost like a sports draft. We draw numbers to determine picking order, and then take turns assigning people to agencies with available slots. Some agencies have bigger boards than others, and some spots (like Connectional Table) are highly coveted. When we get through everything, we have to look at our work and see if we were…

Life Sometimes

Earlier this month, my Great Uncle Bob fell and broke his hip. He'd been in a nursing home in Central New York for a few years, struggling with debilitating Parkinson's disease. He wasn't expected to survive surgery to repair the hip, but he did. Then, just earlier this week, his wife, who had been living in Texas with her daughter who was caring for her, my Great Aunt Betty, fell and broke her hip. Yesterday, somewhat unexpectedly, she died from complications from the fall. Then today, my Uncle Bob died. They had been, due to circumstances, living halfway across the country from each other for the last few years. But somehow, they were quite bound together, it seems, in the strange way that life presents for us sometimes. Two broken hips, one day apart.

I wasn't as close to Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob as I was when I was younger, but they certainly were important people in my life. My Uncle Bob was a United Methodist licensed local pastor. He baptized me in September 1979…

Endorsed Candidates for the Episcopacy

In a few days, I will be heading to Harrisburg, PA for the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. UM Portal recently published a list of candidates endorsed for the episcopacy. Electing bishops is one of the primary tasks of the jurisdictional gathering. In our jurisdiction, I believe we are electing just one bishop this time around. Other jurisdictions have many more elections, and the process can be quite lengthy.

A few observations about the list of candidates:

The North Central Jurisdiction has two female candidates, and the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions each have just one female candidate. The jurisdictions also seem to vary in their degree of racial/ethnic diversity among candidates as well.

Candidates in NCJ and SEJ all (almost) have their own websites! Candidates seem to list several endorsements on their pages from many individual endorsers, in addition to listing biographical/resume information.

(In the NEJ, campaigning for the episcopacy is against the rules. I …