DSC Delegation concludes historic work at WJC

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Conference Newsletter, Featured-News, Western Jurisdiction News

DSC Delegation and new bishop at WJC 2022

Dear members and friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,

Greetings to you in this season of new life and change in the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church! We bring you news from a major week in the life of The Church in the western United States and Pacific Islands.

Your Desert Southwest Delegation showed up and showed out to Salt Lake City November 2-5, where 100+ delegates met to conduct the business of the jurisdiction, discern and elect new episcopal leaders to the Western Jurisdiction College and United Methodist Council of Bishops. Long before we arrived in Utah, each and every one of our delegates was informed, prepared, and equipped to make the best decisions for our annual conference, jurisdiction and church at-large. We spent many Sunday nights these past few months interviewing candidates and asking each other what qualities were most needed to ensure a fruitful and justice-seeking future of The United Methodist Church.

Our collaborative leadership was seen and felt at every level of the jurisdictional conference. Rev. Anthony Tang and Julie O’Neal led the entire WJ Nominations Committee through a flexible and empowering process to shift the WJ’s leadership into a more diverse and accessible future amidst many pending rule changes and unknown answers. Several members of our delegation participated in discussions of legislation, rule changes, and in the Consecration service.

Our delegation prayerfully gathered to discuss preferred candidates, address concerns, and coordinate voting strategy. Eventually, we joined with other delegations to listen and reflect upon how the gifts and strengths of each nominee could meet the needs of each annual conference. The length of time our delegation has been together enabled us to trust one another and share our opinions with each other openly. While we did not always agree, we experienced moments of true and deep holy conferencing and were certain of the presence of the Spirit in our work.

We want to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to Jim Nibbelink, who discerned with and supported the WJ Committee on Episcopacy in assigning this new class of bishops to their episcopal areas. His leadership has and will continue to make the WJ and DSC better at every level through the empowerment of the laity and advocacy for the local church.

We are tremendously excited to welcome Bishop Carlo A. Rapanut, his wife Radie, and sons Caleb and Titus to the Phoenix Episcopal Area. We are certain the people of the Desert Southwest Conference will be thrilled to work alongside Bishop Rapanut beginning on January 1, 2023. In our discernment over these past months, we unanimously found Bishop Rapanut to exceed our expectations for excellent episcopal and pastoral leadership. Our cup runneth over as God does a new thing in our churches and ministries. We encourage you to watch Bishop Rapanut’s election speech here: https://fb.watch/gFoekXjMB2/

We give thanks for your trust and faith in us. We could not be more proud of the excellence and professionalism each and every one of our teammates has carried these past four years; through the 2019 Special Session of General Conference, the global pandemic, multiple postponements, and collaboration through permeable boundaries at the jurisdictional level.

We want to personally thank the delegation for fulfilling their charge to move the church on to perfection through their service as elected representatives of the people of the Desert Southwest Conference. We hope you will offer your thanks to our team:

Rev. Anthony Tang
Julie O’Neal
Rev. Beth Rambikur
Trinity Donovan
Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath
Carla Whitmire
Rev. Mary Klaehn
Jess Brown
Rev. Javier Olivares
Matthew Harris
Rev. Timote Piukala

In Christ,

Rev. Dan Hurlbert, Head of Delegation

Paul Gómez, First Elect Lay

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Author: DSC Communications

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