A word to candidates - Bishopric beyond 2004

greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

The core of the current debate in the AJC has got to do with the way bishops have treated Africans in our over a century of association. Some bishops are truly worth their higher calling, but they are a small minority. Without expecting any favour from them, just being in their presence makes you feel as if you are in the presence of God and you even wonder how that great day will be when we will be united with the Trinity. What is it that Africans want in bishops assigned over us, and simply because I know that come 2004 with the new class to be elected and assigned to African districts, I WANT TO WHISPER SOUND ADVICE: Respect our dignity! We may not have the material wealth, we may not have the education and training you have, we may not your preaching styles - but surely we are equals! We love, honour, respect and evn adore our bishops! We leave no stone unturned to make them feel comfortable - we literally go the extra mile and turn the other cheeck for our bishops! OH BUT there are SOME BISHOPS it is simply not a joy to work with! They have favourites based on income, materials possessions and the list is long. And you should not dare differ with them in a meeting. They know everything and we have nothing to offer them. BUT THE WORD SAYS: IF MY PEOPLE, WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY .. My serious advice to all candidates: TREAT US WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY, and you will get more out of us than you even imagine.

-- Anonymous, April 25, 2003


Brother Hanse

I alwyas derive alot of pleasure in reading your contributions to this dicussion. I know that we have not met before but i look foreward to meeting you in Zambia during the final AJC meeting.

You and i share the same view about the way bishops have treated African - Africans in over a century of association.But all things have worke together for good to us because now we have a God given opportunity to choose leaders from amomg our own.

My greatest worry is the picking of favourites by our Episcopal fathers based on income, materials possessions.I have heard of Bishops that have pre-appointed some candidates as their successors in overseas district. I know of one candidate who has even been quoted in the press as Bishop the AME Church of a certain African country. I have evidence to this effect.

If this issue of indigenous leaderhip is not handled well, it will lead to deeper crisis in districts which are already disorganised. My prayer is that the Bishops will allow the people to elect the righful candidates. By the way is there anything like primary elections in the AME Church? What does the discipline say about this matter? I need your wise counsel for i have a strong feeling that the AJC might bring alot of pre 1787 discriminatory clauses.

God bless

-- Anonymous, April 25, 2003

The Discipline does not speak to the notion of primaries. It was suggested, perhaps by Rev. Hanse, in an article in the AME Review some time ago. Certainly primaries would help to focus districts behind a candidate, and reduce the slate from the current 65+ to 19. This would lead to a more manageable set of choices.

There are some districts that will stand behind their "standard bearer." These include 10 (Sarah Davis), 15 (Andrew B. G. Lewin), and possibly 19, although I have seen another candidate emerge from 19. Perhaps 17 will do the same as well, Rev. Mwandu?

Other districts have multiple candidates: 1 (9+), 2 (2+), 6, (4), 7 (5), 11 (4).

Unless these candidates communicate their record, their platform, and their training in an effective way, it will be difficult for the church at large and the delegates to get to know them. We are fortunate that a number of candidates have web sites of their own (accessible from Candidates' List: click on the candidates' name). But our voice only reaches the cyber-community directly. Perhaps it would be helpful if our readers would contribute some of the background and experience of the various candidates, to broaden our awareness of those pursuing the bench.

-- Anonymous, April 25, 2003

Dear Rev.Hanse

The issue you raise is one that is not just confined to Africa but to most areas outside of the United States. I believe that every area of the connection should have representation so as to provide a real reflection of our own cultural diversity. The discussion has been that Bishops should be elected from Africa. The immediate response is that they are not as educated or qualified. When this happens I find it interesting that one nation within Africa can be the equal of two or three districts in the United States.

There needs to be a number of Bishops elected from outside of the United States at least every three quadrennial meetings.Diversity helps to increase our unity as a denomination.

Just my one man's opinion God Bless You all

-- Anonymous, April 25, 2003

My opening sentence is wrong. The current AJC is a result of many years of mistreatment African felt at the hands of some (note - not all) bishops whohave served in Africa. It is not the core of the current debate in the AJC. Sorry for this error!

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2003

Moderation questions? read
the FAQ