Prayers for Bishop Karen Oliveto and The UMC

4/19/2017

April 19, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
Greetings during this Easter season in which we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.
 
I write to ask you and all our congregations in the California-Nevada Conference to join me in a time of prayer this weekend, and throughout next week as the Judicial Council, the highest judicial body or "court" of The United Methodist Church, hears arguments on the validity of the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto at the Western Jurisdiction Conference last July in Scottsdale, AZ. 
 
A request for a declaratory decision on the election, consecration, and assignment of Bishop Oliveto will be considered during the church’s highest court’s meeting April 25 to 28 in New Jersey. The request came from the South Central Jurisdiction. The hearing will take place on the morning of Tuesday, April 25th.  I along with several of my colleagues and other leaders from the Western Jurisdiction will be present in New Jersey for the hearing. 
 
A ruling is expected within days.  This process is outlined in our Book of Discipline. There are several potential outcomes and the ruling will have implications for the entire denomination.
 
An information sheet has been prepared by the Western Jurisdiction.  I ask that you make the information sheet available to your congregations.  For the information sheet, click here.
 
No matter what the decision is, we know some among us will not agree.  Some will feel hurt.  Some will feel distanced from our church.  Please pray for our global United Methodist Church, Bishop Oliveto, the Mountain Sky Area where Bishop Oliveto is assigned, the members of the Judicial Council, and all who will participate in the hearing on April 25th.
 
My colleague, Bishop Bruce R. Ough, who serves as the President of our Council of Bishops, has issued a letter to our denomination in which he expertly addresses how our church leadership bodies function in a time such as the one we are living.  More importantly, he invites us to empty ourselves so that the Holy Spirit is allowed space in our lives to rush in and bless us.  To read the letter in its entirety, click here.
 
The United Methodist Church, and its predecessor bodies, has faced many challenges and disagreements in the past and has lived to witness to the grace of God in Jesus Christ through the distinctive Wesleyan voice we offer the world.  We know God will see us through this time as well. 
 
Colossians 3:13-14(NIV), says, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."  We are bound together in love for the sake of our calling which is still to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. 
 
Your Sister in Christ,
 

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño