A Moment for Mission
“So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” — Galatians 6:10, NRSV
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said she sees her role as “overseeing the work of the church, working prophetically, evangelically and apostolically with all as they cooperate with the grace of God.” Elected to the episcopacy in 2016, she is assigned to the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference.
A key component of her ministry, Moore-Koikoi believes, is leaving space for the transforming movement of the Holy Spirit, especially at times when the denomination is divided and many people wonder what the future holds. “That’s spiritual work—remembering who God is and who God has called us to be,” she said. “We got God, so we got this.”
The bishop is familiar with church life and ministry in rural, urban and suburban settings. She grew up in a preacher’s family, and when she was in elementary school, her father served a rural hilltop church. Later, they moved to serve a church in suburban Silver Spring, Maryland, where she went to junior high and high school.
Her vision is of a diverse church that embraces justice and the life-saving love of Christ. As a relatively new bishop, she’s committed to work for that. It won’t be easy, she said, “but I remind myself: God has this. God is in control.”
Through the Episcopal Fund, we provide for the salary and expenses of active bishops like Moore-Koikoi and for the support of retired bishops and surviving spouses and minor children of deceased bishops.
What is a bishop?
Yes, it is a piece in the game of chess, but that’s not what I’m talking about today.
In The United Methodist Church, a bishop is kind of like a shepherd. Our bishops guide—or shepherd—the life and ministry of our congregation and other local churches around the world. They help to make sure we follow God’s path for us.
Bishops work with pastors and district superintendents and encourage congregations. They make sure that United Methodist churches carry out the ministry of Jesus Christ.
Today the bishops of The United Methodist Church shepherd more than 12 million people on four continents, including North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
Our church helps bishops with this important work through the Episcopal Fund.
Loving God, you call us to work for the good of all, especially for those of the family of faith. Guide our bishops as they lead the church in ministry. We love you. Amen.
From Disciple Ministries: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost — Mighty God, we have read of the prophets of old, and how your power was often made known to them in small gestures or in a still small voice. We bring our gifts to you this day confessing that we have often missed (or dismissed) your miracles because they did not present themselves in dramatic, startling events or grand transformations. Give us eyes that are constantly on the lookout for the small and subtle ways you make your power and presence, love and mercy known to us! In the name of Christ, we pray. Amen. (2 Kings 5:1-14)
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi said she sees herself as a bridge-builder, clear and confident about what she believes, while respecting others who might not believe the same way.
Ordained an elder in 2010, she served on the conference staff, as district superintendent for the Greater Washington Area and as superintendent of the Baltimore Metropolitan District.
In that role, she played a key spiritual role in the city in 2015 during the unrest after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. She helped to organize United Methodist churches to open their doors and minister to children and families whose schools were closed and to meet other basic needs. She became the face of The United Methodist Church, and church volunteers in red T-shirts were visible walking through neighborhoods, praying for and ministering to people.
United Methodist support of the Episcopal Fund is essential to the life and ministry of Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi and her colleagues as they share the love of Jesus Christ around the world.
Adapted from Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference website. Used by permission.