Many of you have called, texted, and emailed about a news story that has caused pain and even fear in some hearts. Here is the news item if you haven’t heard:
Our Bishop, Minerva Carcaño has been suspended by our jurisdiction’s College of Bishops for an investigation into charges that have been brought against her. In the 60 days of the investigation, Bishop Sally Dyck will come out of retirement to manage the Conference’s affairs.
Now for some commentary: I’m so glad that in the United Methodist Church, every clergy person and paid staff is accountable. I have the District Superintendent (Shinya Goto) who reviews my work as well as our own Staff Parish Relations Committee. That is a beautiful thing. I don’t want to have anything to do with systems where leaders are not accountable. This is honorable at a deep level.
Second, the Bishop will be suspended with pay for these 60 days and is innocent in our system until and unless a charge is confirmed in an investigation. This is also honorable at a deep level.
Third, the work of the followers of Jesus, and particularly those in the United Methodist Church, is bigger than any one of us. Just recently I took a monthlong medical leave and Y’all did wonderful ministry just the same without me. We have a great call, and our UM system has a way to carry right on in great, world- and life-changing service with or without any one of its named leaders. That is also honorable, and beautiful at a deep level.
And finally, God is at work in each of us. We are all imperfect, your pastor maybe most of all, and certainly our Bishops and each of us. We are called in a great love to a great love. And we are carried to that love by a current of the Spirit that is full of grace and strength and healing and hope. That, friends, is the deepest honor and greatest truth.
Please pray for our Bishop and for the work of our Annual Conference and all the churches we are kin with in this time of pain and concern, but always also knit together in this wonderful community of love.