BISHOP FARR TO SERVE AS MISSOURI EPISCOPAL LEADER THROUGH POSTPONED JURISDICTIONAL CONFERENCE
Due to the impact of COVID-19, and the subsequent postponement of the General and Jurisdictional Conferences, Bishop Bob Farr will continue to serve as Resident Bishop of the Missouri Conference through the South Central Jurisdictional Conference which has been rescheduled until November 10-12, 2021.
Because of the postponement of jurisdictional conference, the SCJ College of Bishops and the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee have been in conversation regarding how assignments, retirements, and elections of bishops will be handled. The 2016 Book of Discipline does not specifically address a process for this type of interruption to quadrennial cycle.
“I am grateful to continue in ministry with the Missouri Conference," said Bishop Farr. "I have been very pleased with the shared work of our clergy and lay members over the course of the past four years. I am hopeful about our future as we discern a pathway forward amid uncertainty and fear brought on by the global health crisis but also the denominational fractures happening throughout the connection."
All other residential bishops will remain in their assigned area locations through the jurisdictional conference, until the conference makes new assignments (based upon the recommendation of the SCJ Episcopacy Committee). SCJ bishops who had planned to retire following jurisdictional conference, Bishop Bledsoe (New Mexico & Northwest Texas), Bishop McKee (North Texas), and Bishop Lowry (Central Texas) will continue to serve in their current episcopal area until the postponed SCJ Conference in November 2021. The election of any new bishops will only occur at the jurisdictional conference.
Brian Hammons, lay member from Schweitzer in Springfield and former Missouri Conference Lay Leader, chairs the SCJ Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee and the annual conference committee. The assignments were made in compliance with The Book of Discipline, paragraphs 406-408.
“During this unprecedented time, Bishop Farr's continued leadership is essential," remarked Hammons. "This is not the time to disrupt the relationship. On behalf of the episcopacy committee for the Missouri Annual Conference, I offer my thanks to Bishop and Susan Farr for their commitment to Missouri and their faithfulness to their call to ministry.”