A Moment for Mission
We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers constantly. —1 Thessalonians 1:2, NRSV
The United Methodist Church has weathered many a storm. John Wesley was opposed to slavery long before it was abolished. Methodists were involved in education of children before school was provided by the state. Still, today there is no shortage of storms in our political and social climate. It is the task of our bishops to help steer The United Methodist Church in ways that is faithful to our mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
This is no easy task. Our bishops have been calling United Methodists to live into the vision of the Beloved Community, "to be bold in the witness against racism and white supremacy." United Methodists have been called upon to assist in disaster relief in the face of hurricanes and floods with bishops playing instrumental roles in making connections between needs and supplies as well as calling people to action. There is a commission of bishops seeking a Way Forward, looking to the unity of the church while also addressing the topic of sexuality and The United Methodist Church. Bishops are navigating through difficult waters and need our prayers as they discern where God is calling the church. Our Bishops need our prayers as well as our generous apportionment giving to the Episcopal Fund. This fund sees to the needs of our bishops in the form of salaries, housing, travel and pension.
God, We give thanks for our bishops. May we constantly mention them in our prayers. Grant them the gift of wisdom and discernment as they move your church forward. Grant us a spirit of generosity that we might care for those who care for us. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost - God of our salvation, through Jesus Christ's self-offering on the cross, you granted eternal life. We who were far off have become members of your household. We belong to you, yet we get caught up in the world that judges others by what they own. Enable us to love you with our whole heart. Free us from clinging to our money and possessions. Use our gifts and offerings to bring relief to people in need of physical and spiritual healing. We ask this for the sake of Christ, our risen Lord. Amen. (Matthew 22:15-22)
The Episcopal Fund is one of the seven apportionments of The United Methodist Church. We use the word "episcopal" because it refers to a church structure that includes bishops who govern over the church. In The United Methodist Church, bishops are elected by jurisdictional conferences every four years. Bishops acts as shepherds, providing general oversight and spiritual leadership over the church, as well as setting appointments, and holding the church accountable to the rules and regulations set at General Conference. Bishops also bear the responsibility of setting the direction of the church that it may be faithful to its mission of discipleship and transformation. Bishops play important roles as they preside over annual conferences as well as plenary sessions of General Conference. As our bishops are doing the work of caring for the flock, the Episcopal Fund provides for the care of our bishops. This fund provides the salary, housing, travel and office expenses of each of our bishops. The Episcopal Fund also provides for the pensions of each bishop.