Oct 18, 2022 | By Heather Hahn | UM News

Just ahead of Americans heading to the polls for Election Day, United Methodist delegates will be heading to five simultaneous jurisdictional conferences across the U.S. to elect new bishops.

But unlike during previous bishop elections, jurisdictional leaders are recommending that the delegates gathering Nov. 2-5 not fill every vacant episcopal office. 

All told, 20 United Methodist bishops in the U.S. will have retired between 2021 and the end of this year. However, at this point, the recommendation is to elect 14 new bishops.

The elections will bring the number of active U.S. bishops up to 40, but the U.S. currently has 46 episcopal areas. 

It will be up to each jurisdiction’s college of bishops and committee on the episcopacy to arrange coverage of the remaining episcopal areas either by asking retired bishops to serve in an interim capacity or assigning bishops to serve more than one episcopal area as 16 bishops have done over the past two pandemic-marred years. All active bishops are eligible for reassignment at jurisdictional conferences.

All jurisdictions also will have to vote on the number of bishops to elect when they meet next month. 

Read more at umnews.org/en/news/jurisdictions-advised-to-elect-14-us-bishops