March 19, 2022 | by Bishop Sally Dyck
Dear Clergy and Laity of the California-Nevada Annual Conference:
Grace and peace to you in this Lenten season. Every journey brings some detours and unexpected stops along the way and this Lenten journey is no exception.
Many of you have read the announcement sent yesterday, March 9, stating that the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops received two complaints against Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the resident bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference. As a result, she was placed on leave from her episcopal responsibilities for 60 days while the complaints are being addressed.
While Bishop Carcaño is on leave, I have been asked by the College of Bishops to serve as the interim bishop. I was elected a bishop in the North Central Jurisdiction in 2004 I served the Minnesota Annual Conference (2004-2012) and the Chicago area (2012-2020) before retiring. In my retirement I serve as the Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops and I will still have many responsibilities in that work. I live in Napa, CA where a number of family members also reside, where there is beautiful weather and great hiking opportunities!
As interim bishop, I have been asked by the College of Bishops to work with the appointive cabinet and provide overall direction to the extended staff. I will work directly with Rev. Mike Harrell, the Assistant to the Bishop, to oversee the day-to-day operations of the conference and will assist with the assignment of clergy appointments.
The California-Nevada Annual Conference will keep moving the mission of the church—to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world—forward over these next 60 days through our respective ministries as local churches, annual conference work (including appointment-making), and other mission endeavors.
This is an emotionally charged time for everyone. It’s such a turbulent time in our world and church with the war in Ukraine, pandemic fatigue and loss, racism in our communities and churches, climate change that directly impacts California and Nevada, and the upheaval in The United Methodist Church as some churches seek to separate from the denomination. We’re all exhausted and each one of us carries heavy burdens in our personal, professional and church lives. But the Holy Spirit will empower and strengthen us as we remain faithful to our calling.
As we journey together during this season, I will be praying for you and ask that you pray for the conference and for Bishop Carcaño. This will be my prayer for you as we journey together in this season:
I pray that, according to the riches of (God’s) glory, (God) may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through (the) Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Bishop Sally Dyck