From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Bishops install Weaver as president for two-year term

From "NewsDesk" <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Fri, 30 Apr 2004 14:01:18 -0500

April 29, 2004 GC04-024

By Linda Green*

PITTSBURGH (UMNS) - The Council of Bishops is "grasped by grace" as its newly
elected officers dare to serve God and assist their peers in serving a broken
and hurting world.

Bishop Peter D. Weaver, bishop of the Philadelphia Area of the United
Methodist Church, made this statement as he was installed April 29 as the
president of the denomination's Council of Bishops for the next two years. 

The United Methodist bishops voted to lengthen the term of their president
from one to two years last November, a move they believe will provide better
continuity of leadership. The Council includes 50 active bishops in the
United States and 18 in Europe, Asia and Africa as well as about 75 retired
bishops worldwide. They lead a denomination of about 10 million members.

Bishop Weaver succeeds Bishop Ruediger Minor of the Eurasia Area as the
Council's president. 

"I have been tremendously grateful personally that you elected me to this
office," Minor said. He said his election honored him, the church in Russia
and colleagues of the central conferences (regional units of the church in
Asia, Africa and Europe). "We indeed have made use of this unique gift to be
involved in our church."

Minor said that with the exception of the Roman Catholic Church, no other
denomination shares the needs, the pain, the joy and the experience of being
the body of Christ in the world.  

Prior to passing the gavel of leadership to Weaver, Minor said that the
bishops strive to adhere to John Wesley's mantra of the world being their
parish. He added, "To know about it is one thing, but to use this knowledge
in bringing to a hurting world a healing word is what we are called (to do)."

Minor challenged Weaver to be a servant leader among his peers and with them,
as they collectively use their gifts in outreach and witness to the world.

Weaver told the bishops that they are "grasped by the grace that has given
extraordinary gifts throughout this council."  He urged them to continue to
give of their gifts until they heal. 

"We have been grasped by grace and given a vision of a new creation through
Jesus Christ," he said. Through grace Christ has entrusted the bishops with
the ministry of reconciliation.

"I am grateful that we have been grasped by grace that alone is the reason
for our wholeness, our salvation, our transformation." 

Elected in July 1996, Bishop Weaver is assigned to the Philadelphia Area of
the United Methodist Church, which includes 240,000 members and 1,000
churches in the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware conferences
(regions) .

# # #

*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer.

News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7.
After May 10: (615) 742-5470. 


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