July 22, 2016
Months prior to Jurisdictional Conference, the Episcopacy Committee consults with all the bishops in the jurisdiction regarding their gifts, graces, hopes and needs and the missional needs of their Conference. All assignments are open, meaning any bishop can be moved, even if he or she has only been in their assigned area for four years.
After all of the needed bishops are elected (this year the number was three), they all meet with the committee individually and share important things, such as family concerns.
The Episcopacy Committee then begins their deliberations with communion and a time of prayer to give the group a sense of unity.
Rev. Cody Collier said that this is the first time that the South Central Jurisdiction has assigned a bishop from which he or she was elected to serve the same area. To do so required a two-thirds vote by the Episcopacy Committee. The vote was 29 in favor and none opposed with one abstention.
“I think the other Conferences supported this because they look to us in terms of how we are structured and other good works coming from here like the “We Are More” campaign, and they want us to be able to lead and share what we are doing to help others out,” Collier said.
Brian Hammons, the other person from Missouri serving on the Episcopacy Committee, said he felt going in that there was a strong possibility that Bishop Farr could get assigned to Missouri, but it could have certainly gone a different way.
“We had several good candidates, and we all (on the committee) just work together to try to best match their gifts with the missional needs of the Conference, much in the same way the cabinet works to match pastors with churches,” Hammons said.
“You have to look at it as a wide open table. You can put a lot of thought into it ahead of time, but nothing is set.”
Both Collier and Hammons said the spirit in the committee was one of collaboration.
“We left the room with folks united,” he said.
Hammons is very pleased that Bishop Farr is coming to Missouri.
“I’m excited that Bishop Farr will be able to hit the ground running,” he said. “I believe he has the ability and opportunity to lead the Conference to the next level and to help us produce more fruit from the seeds that have been planted. It’s all about helping local churches and communities.”