News & Announcements

Statement from Bishop Bledsoe on Judicial Council Decision

Dear Friends,

           By now, most if not all of you have heard about the recent decision of the Judicial Council regarding the nomination, election, assignment and consecration of an openly gay bishop in the Western Jurisdiction. This decision was in response to a request for a declaratory decision by the South Central Jurisdiction, of which we are members. It is the expressed authority of each jurisdiction to elect bishops of the church. There are five jurisdictions within the United States.

            The Judicial Council ruled that the consecration was against church law; however because of jurisdictional authority, stopped short of ruling on the other matters of nomination, election and assignment, pending the completion of an administrative or supervisory complaint process. In the United Methodist Church all clergy are entitled to due process under church law. It is my understanding that there are several complaints in process regarding the actions in the Western Jurisdiction and until that process is complete, no decision can be made.

            I want to ask that all of us remain calm and continue to focus on the mission of the church. Some things are out of our control and hands. We have processes and methods in place to address this issue. We also have a recently appointed Commission that is meeting to present a report in February 2019 to a called session of General Conference to determine a way forward for the church. I hope we will continue to have renewed patience in the midst of our differences and difficulties. The 2016 Book of Discipline has not and did not change regarding the issue of human sexuality. As your assigned bishop, I took a vow at my ordination as clergy and also at my consecration as a bishop to uphold the order and discipline of the church. I intend to do that and keep my commitment with grace and humility. The District Superintendents join me in this commitment to uphold The Discipline. I’m asking each of our clergy, as well, to remember your ordination vows and to continue to lead in a Christ-like manner as we seek a way forward in the church.

            I want to thank all the churches and individuals who committed to pray for the church and ask that you continue to pray for the church. It is through prayer and fasting that we are able to be sustained and nurtured in the midst of adversity.

Grace & Peace,

Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe

Bind Us Together – Bishop Itineration

bindBishop Bledsoe was recently diagnosed with pneumonia and the flu.  The decision to postpone the NM Spring Itineration was made out of concern for the Bishop’s health and need for time to recover.  The NM Conference portion of the Spring Itineration will be rescheduled for this fall.  For the NWTX portion of the tour, there is great value in continuing, as NWTX is rolling out their new strategic plan.  We will publish the Fall Itineration dates shortly.  Questions?  Contact Randall Partin at (505)255-8786 or randall@nmconfum.com.

January 21 – FUMC-Roswell – 2:00 pm  – Postponed
January 28 – FUMC-Perryton – 2:00 pm
February 4 – St. Paul’s-Abilene – 10:00 am
February 19 – Center Street-Tucumcari – 3:00 pm  – Postponed
March 4 – FUMC-Childress – 10:00 am
March 5 – St. Stephen’s-Amarillo – 2:30 pm
March 11 – Trinity-First-El Paso 2:00 pm – Postponed
March 18 – FUMC-Odessa – 10:00 am – Postponed
March 19 – FUMC-Lamesa – 3:00 pm
March 25 – St. John’s-ABQ – 2:00 pm – Postponed
April 2 – FUMC-Lubbock – 2:00 pm
April 8 – FUMC-Plainview – 2:00 pm
May 13 – FUMC-Farmington – 10:00 am – Postponed

South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops Statement

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

While these can be turbulent times in The United Methodist Church, these are also times of emerging and fruitful ministries. Lay and clergy leaders are creating new ministries to reach new people for Jesus Christ. They remind us of the importance of our collective work to grow the number of vital congregations of The United Methodist Church.

We are also committed to do the work that the General Conference mandated: forming and leading a Commission to “develop a complete examination and possible revision of every paragraph in our Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality” and “to explore options to help the church live in grace with one another – including ways to avoid further complaints, trials, and harm while we uphold the Discipline.” While we acknowledge differences of opinions across the connection, we intend to live out the promise we and our colleagues on the Council of Bishops made in response to the request of the General Conference.

We encourage and invite the people of the South Central Jurisdiction to join us in seeking ways for a variety of expressions of ministries to coexist within one church. Let us remember Christ’s call in Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus: “You are one body and one spirit, just as God also called you in one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all, who is over all, through all, and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 CEB)

Yours in Christ,

The South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops