Conference welcomes Bishop Schol Sept. 18
The Eastern PA invites all to attend a celebrative welcome for its next episcopal leader, Bishop John Schol, on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 10:30 AM, at West Chester UMC. The celebration will begin with a vivid procession of robed clergy as a lively, multilingual congregation sings and possibly dances to “Siyahamba,” the popular, South African hymn that says “We Are Marching (or Walking) in the light of God.”
Bishop Schol and his wife Beverly Schol will return for this celebration to West Chester UMC, where he was serving as lead pastor when he was elected a bishop in 2004. Having led the Baltimore-Washington Conference and now the Greater New Jersey Conference, he will also provide episcopal coverage for our conference from Sept. 1 through at least 2022.
The Northeastern Jurisdiction is scheduled to elect new bishops when it meets in November 2022. But the jurisdictional conference may also decide to realign several conferences, including ours, into new episcopal areas with more sharing of bishops.
A diverse assemblage of clergy and lay leaders, along with children and youth, will participate in the welcome celebration. Included will be a covenant service, presentation of symbolic signs of the episcopacy, Holy Communion, special music and a sermon by Bishop Schol.
NOTE: All clergy who wish to join the processional should arrive to robe between 9:30 and 10 AM and wear white robes with red stoles. Also, attendees must register to attend this event and should indicate any need for childcare or other special accommodations. Currently, vaccinated persons do not have to wear masks.