Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., episcopal leader of the San Francisco Area of The United Methodist Church and resident bishop in the California-Nevada Annual Conference, has been elected president-designate of the Council of Bishops.
Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of Germany was elected to the presidency. She will begin her term on the third day of the 2012 General Conference, succeeding Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, and will hold office for two years. Bishop Brown will succeed her in 2014.
The elections took place yesterday (Nov. 2) at the Council's fall meeting at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
"This is a great honor, and a testament to the caliber of leadership Bishop Brown has provided throughout his career. We are grateful that his gifts are being recognized and called upon by the global Church," the Rev. Linda Caldwell, California-Nevada Conference Superintendent for Mission Collaboration, said in response to the news.
"At the same time, this Conference faces many unique challenges. However, our course is set, many things have been put in motion, and we are moving forward purposefully with our destination in sight.
"The bishop has demonstrated unwavering commitment to the mission of this Conference. His commitment, coupled with the technology available today, has enabled him to be completely engaged in our work, even when away. This full participation will continue as he takes on this new role," Caldwell said.
The Council of Bishops is made up of all active and retired bishops of The United Methodist Church. According to the Book of Discipline, "The Church expects the Council of Bishops to speak to the Church and from the Church to the world and to give leadership in the quest for Christian unity and interreligious relationships."[427.2]
Brown said he considers his role to be "a servant" of the council.
"Our main business is making disciples and empowering churches to be the instruments of God's love," he said. "As we grow and pay attention to the way God is already working among us and cherish that, it will awaken vitality." [Quoted by Heather Hahn in Wenner, Brown win election to lead bishops, UMNS.]
The Council of Bishops on Nov. 2 also elected other officers.
- Oklahoma Area Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. was re-elected as council secretary.
- Boston Area Bishop Peter D. Weaver, who will retire next year, will serve a four-year term as the council's executive secretary, starting in September 2012.
- Los Angeles Area Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, who also will retire next year, will serve a four-year term as the council's ecumenical officer, starting in September 2012.
In photo above: The new Council of Bishops officers are (from left) Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, Bishop Robert Hayes Jr., and Bishop Peter Weaver.