Bishop's council and critical issues : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Bishop Adam Richardson Jr. the head of the A.M.E Bishop's council has a very interesting article on critical issues of the A.M.E church. I think all A.M.E's would be interested in reading it. Our Bishop's are working hard. I actually find out about our A.M.E Bishops from my Episcopalian colleagues for they truly love the A.M.E church and they call me when one of our Bishop is featured in world religious news. The official A.M.E denomination has been updated and Dr. Fugh should be commended for his hard work. Can someone do a direct link to Bishop Richardson article. Here is the address

Thank you!

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002


Rev. Denise Rogers is a gem. In calling attention to Bishop Richardson's article, which I read only yesterday, for the first time, she has taken the debate about the future of our church from the theoretical to the practical. Bishop Richardson, you will discover, agrees with many of us.

I had proposed, originally, when I first found this wonderful forum, approximately ten days ago, that the Bishops needed a chief, analogous to a President or a Pope. I utilized the analogy of a sharp pencil to a dull pencil. I am happy to see that Bishop Richardson agrees with this point, even if he would eschew the title of "Pope" in a favor of one more palatable.

He makes a number of other worthy points, including some about the need for African Bishops, and realigning the geography of certain districts.

I say that the tide must rise, in order for the boats to rise. We are the tide. If we rise to the fullness of our potential, so will our church.

Read the article and be blessed! And thank you, Rev. Rogers, for being a gadfly for righteousness!

Rev. Larry D. Coleman

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002

I to read Bishop Richardson's article with gret interest. If the elevation of one Bishop to a Chief Executive Officer position was accompanied by a down-sizing of the bench of bishops, I would be in favor of such a change. The question is; "hOW CAN HIS CHANGES BE IMPLEMENTED WHEN HIS TERM EXPIRES IN ONE YEAR?

Be Blessed; Pastor Paris

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2002

Rev. Paris' doubts about the effectiveness of "reforms" when you have a one year term of office is right on the mark. Change occurs typically with slow and deliberate speed. I am unaware of any effective change during a one year tenure of the office holder. A one year term of office suggests the position is essentially ceremonial and not policy driven. IMO, the President of the Bishop's Council should serve at least two years. QED

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2002

Rev. Paris and Bro. Bill though Bishop Richardson will only have one year left in office. I would like to think that he is laying the foundation upon which the Bishop's council can build. With God all things are possible! And though I do not know Bishop Richardson I assume he will still be active in our denomination and will share his thoughts and concerns. Our other Bishops are also dynamic and they too will carry on the work that has been laid down. Though I have never been to a Bishop Council I am assuming there is a lot of consensus building. I firmly believe that God is doing a new thing in our denomination and God's plan for the A.M.E church goes beyond a year, so God can and will instill in others his purpose for the destiny of our zion. That is why scripture repeatedly tells us to look to God for he will bring into manifestation his perfect will using ordinary people. Let us pray for Bishop Richardson and for the future of this denomination for God answers prayers and let us write to our Bishops and ask how we can help. God is in control, praise his name and power.

-- Anonymous, December 03, 2002

As I have stared before I consider Bishop Richardson among my personal friends. Therefore I also think these proposals are laudable indeed. It is also laudable that our bishops are expressing these concerns. We will also note that similar proposals were made by both Bishop DeVeaux and Bishop Kirkland when they served in this post.

Bill is also right that this is basically a ceremonial position as well. We must also remember that each of our bishops are equal in the authority which they possess. Regardless to how we feel, this is not likely to ever change. The Discipline expressly states that no legislation may be passed which changes the episcopacy or its authority in any way. Though we may in fact reduce the number of bishop we elect, their authority will always be equal in what they do or say.

Also as I have stated before--but seemly it has fallen on deaf ears-- any lasting changes me may make for the good of all can only be accomplished by legislation we write and pass on the General Conference floor. What these bishops propose must and can only be done through this process as well.

Therefore, it behooves us to get busy writing and getting this legislation in place. If you have not already begun this process in your Episcopal District, Conference and church, the time is well nigh past that it should be begun.

The next series of Annual Conferences will hold the Electoral College for delegates to the General Conference, both ministerial and lay. I have recently sought and been elected from my local church as the delegate to the Electoral College which my Conference wil hold next spring. I have also written and submitted legislation to my Conference and Episcopal District Lay. Hopefully this will pass when the Lay Biennial Convention is held next July. Hopefully it will also be passed on to Convo IV and V.

If you have not already begun to take similar steps as these, I sincerely hope you will begin to do so as soon as you possibly can so that four years from now we will not be saying such changes should be made.

Anything short of this is simply, idle chatter, wishful thinking and spinning our wheels.

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2002

Robert I too have repeatedly said on this board that God is in control and that is it through prayer and being strong in the word of God that change happens in this world. We can write legislation, petition to go to general conference but if we do not petition God to answer our prayers then nothing will happen. God is still in the miracle making business so why do we feel he cannot perform miracles in our denomination. I see him doing it daily in my life and in other churches. Can you imagine what would happen at General conference if all of us began today to pray in ernest for the out pouring of the Holy spirit to fall on general conference. How can we begin to write legislation if we do not know the will of God. That comes through prayer and being in fellowship with other Christians. I have been doing ministry for 20 years, and I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard "this will not work" "we tried that before" "let's write new policy" "or we don't do it that way" and for every response I chuckle for God is continually breaking through into our lives to prove we are wrong. His son Jesus transcended death through resurrection. Christians were murdered in colleseums for sport, God parted the Red Sea, when pharoah was so sure the Israelites would be defeated. Let us put our trust in him and not fall victim to fear and doubt for these are the seeds the children of darkness plant and they bear fruit when we harvest them. The general conference will come and go and the legacy that God has in store will prevail. As for me I am a preacher so I am used to people having a deaf ear when it comes to turning their lives over to God. But through prayer and patience they allow God to enter their lives. I was one of those people who saw everything as an impossibility. But now with Christ in my life I know nothing is IMPOSSIBLE. What we see as ceremony in human terms may very well be the instrument God uses to bring his plan for salvation to fruition. All things are possible for him that serve him. If God could use Saul a killer of Christians and convert him to Paul the Apostle in a few seconds can he not do the same thing at general conference. This is not idle chatter but it is in scripture.

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2002

As Christians we all know and believe in the Power of God. It goes without saying that the A.M.E. Church and the General Conference both operate on this belief. I for one would not wish this or any other position to be more than it already is. We all are one in Christ and we are each called by God to do what we do.

Legislation is a method God has given us for change both in our church and our country and legislation works. Let us then use our God- given abilities and this valuable God-given tool for change and as always we will do this with supplication and prayer.

So let me repeat. We need to get our delegates in place and we also need to get the legislation written and passed. The time is upon us and we should not wait. If we miss this opportuntunity we have only ourselves to blame.

-- Anonymous, December 04, 2002

Dear Rev. Denise

Thank You for the information. I am both pleased by Bishop Richardsons comments and curious about the suggestion on Episcopal Administration.

The 1972 General Conference mandated many of the functions he has discussed under the Office of Ecumenical And Urban Affairs. While my memory of the Discipline of 1972 is weak I see a continuation of the same theme. If the Church used the office of Ecumenical and Urban Affairs for administrative purposes we would hold the present standing of Bishops in place.

Like Rev. Paris and Prof.QED I see no way for the transition of these ideas in one year. The Office of President of the Council appears to be as ceremonial as the Office of the Senior Bishop. Where I am challenged is that I do not hear a statement of purpose or vision plan articulated by the entire council. This would see the committment of every Bishop and therefore every Episcopal District. With the growing number of retired Bishops and their continued voting power even after active service I believe this presents the greatest challenge to the adoption and implementation of a vision plan for the Church.In 2004 there could be as many as 32 members on the council of Bishops with 13 being retired. How will any president get work done with so many varied agendas and votes in one room.

Bro. Robert is also correct. We must take care to not miss any opportunities to be an active part of our Church. In June 2000 Rev. Denise I was told at the last General Board Meeting before the General Conference that the proposal I submitted would never pass. It passed without discussion. The difficulty for our Church is that we are blessed with brilliant ideas and often no strength to carry them through. I am faithfully believing God will move our Church to improve our house-keeping and our Kingdom Building very soon.We serve a mighty God and to whom much is given ...

God Bless You All Take care of yourselves through this cold weather blast. My Prayers for our Brothers and Sisters in North Carolina without power in the freezing weather.

-- Anonymous, December 05, 2002

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