LINCOLN, Neb. — After interviewing episcopal candidates from the South Central Jurisdiction, the Nebraska Annual Conference delegation voted March 24 to officially endorse the Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey for the episcopacy. Harvey (pictured) is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and currently serves as the Deputy General Secretary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Delegation members listed her administrative, communication, pastoral and relational skills as assets that Rev. Harvey would bring to the episcopacy. This is the first episcopal endorsement that the Nebraska delegation has made since 2000, and was a unanimous decision.
The delegation also spent time discussing the proposals for structural change in the UMC that will be discussed at General Conference. Recognizing that a number of amendments will likely be made to the proposed legislation during the course of General Conference, the Nebraska delegation opted to make the following statement, rather than endorse a specific proposal:
“We embrace change that would create a structure for The United Methodist Church that is responsive to the needs of the global Church. In this time of change, we share a concern that in the midst of our desire to be flexible and efficient we not lose the diversity of voices at every level of decision-making. Our concern is not so much about the ability of individuals to represent the perspectives of others, but a concern that our decision-makers themselves reflect the rich diversity of The United Methodist Church.” March 24, 2012
Finally, the delegation is announcing the following statement, accepted unanimously at their November meeting, regarding diversity in the episcopacy.
“Recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit in our midst, and drawing from the blessings we have received from our many bishops, the Nebraska Annual Conference delegation affirms our willingness to trust in the episcopal election process, and the work of the episcopacy committee. We embrace the notion of a diverse episcopacy, and specifically welcome bishops who are women and/or who are representative of a diverse ethnic background.” Nov. 5, 2011
For a complete list of Nebraska delegation members, visit the General Conference 2012 page.
General Conference is the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. The 1000-member assembly meets once every four years to consider revisions to church law, as well as adopt resolutions on current moral, social, public policy and economic issues. It also approves plans and budgets for church-wide programs for the next four years. The 2012 meeting will take place April 24-May 4 at the Tampa Convention Center. Visit the 2012 General Conference website for more information.
Photo on home page: The Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey, by Ronny Perry for UMNS