This article was originally published at https://www.unitedmethodistbishops.org/newsdetail/umc-bishops-offer-overwhelming-support-to-bishop-streiff-16475442.
WASHINGTON, D.C.– In an overwhelming decision on the third day of their spring meeting, the bishops of The United Methodist Church today affirmed support for Bishop Patrick Streiff of the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe in the aftermath of the decision by the Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference to vote to leave the denomination.
The Council of Bishops’ motion stated:
We affirm Bishop Patrick Streiff’s episcopal leadership in four ways:
- His commitment to the mission of the church, in alignment with paragraphs 121-125 of the Book of Discipline.
- His strong Connectional spirit and commitment to the unity of the church.
- His consistent efforts to uphold the Discipline of the church, and
- His graceful and charitable spirit.
Over Bishop Streiff’s ruling on the process, Bulgaria-Romania conference members approved a disaffiliation resolution on April 1, during the conference’s annual session, held in Varna, Bulgaria.
Bishop Streiff in an April 7 statement said the vote to leave was taken “without legal basis in the Book of Discipline.”
“I deeply regret that the church in Bulgaria was not willing to follow the church order for leaving The United Methodist Church and decided to cut all ties towards the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe,” Streiff said. “With the UMC in Romania, I will continue to work for a mutually respectful way of leaving The United Methodist Church.”
The bishops began their Wednesday morning with a prophetic word from Bishop Marcus Matthews based on Jeremiah 29:11.
In addition, the bishops met in their covenant groups before meeting in their virtual plenary to review the recent decisions of the Judicial Council. The bishops updated one another on disaffiliations and separations in their conferences and finished their work for the day with an update of the Boy Scouts of America settlement.
The bishops will gather again on Thursday for worship, covenant groups and discussion regarding the role of the episcopacy.
The Friday, April 29, session will be livestreamed to the public on the COB Facebook page (www.facebook.com/umcbishops/) starting at 9:00 am Eastern time.
Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications
Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church
110 Maryland Ave. NE # 301
Washington , D.C. 20002