General Conference 2008: Number of Bishops Debated
By Bruce Pettit
California-Nevada News Service
Proposals for a number – and an adjustment formula for changing membership totals – came in amendments on top of amendments. It became so convoluted that the body sent all the proposals back to the Committee on Superintendency from which they came. The matter likely will not come back to the full body until Tuesday night or Wednesday.
The various proposals had the Western Jurisdiction, currently at six bishops, being lowered to either five or three bishops.
Janet Forbes, clergy member from the Rocky Mountain Conference, gave Superintendency's reason for recommending no reduction at all: "Is limiting leadership ever an appropriate response in times of radical change?" she asked rhetorically.
Steve Wende, clergy member of the Texas Conference, gave the counter argument that the UMC should release $10,000,000 over a quadrennium to aid the church in its growing foreign areas.