Eastern PA leader comments on Bishops' accountability covenant

Eastern PA leader comments on Bishops’ accountability covenant

“Accountability is a fundamental way of life among the people called Methodists,” said Philadelphia Area Bishop Peggy Johnson in a just-published UM News Service story on a task force recommendation that the Council of Bishops adopt a covenant of accountability when the body next meets in May.  Johnson is a member of the episcopal task force. “We are to hold one another accountable as a part of our spiritual disciplines as we live together in community,” she said.

“The proposed covenant, based largely on the bishops’ consecration vows, comes as the denomination is struggling with declining U.S. worship attendance, deep divisions regarding homosexuality and questions of what it means for church leaders to be accountable,” writes UMNS reporter Heather Hahn, who contacted Bishop Johnson for comments.

“It also comes just two months before the 2016 General Conference, where delegates will consider multiple proposals aimed at holding bishops’ feet to the fire. These petitions include giving the council more authority when bishops face complaints under church law.”

Bishop Johnson told Hahn that the Council sees the covenant as a way to strengthen ministry, explaining, “Steel sharpens steel as we encourage one another into greater degrees of holiness and righteous living.”  Read more…