Role of Bishops at GC 2019


Bishop Leeland requested that the following message from the Council of Bishops be shared with the Western North Carolina Conference.


 Role of Bishops at 2019 Special Session of the General Conference 

Statement by Bishop Ken Carter 

President, Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church 

As we approach the Special Session of the General Conference, we remain in an extended season of prayer with you. We are always aware that the office of bishop, entrusted by you to us, is a gift and a sacred privilege. We seek to fulfill this role with humility and faithfulness. 

Bishops did not propose legislation. Consistent with the Judicial Council’s action in Decision 1360, the legislation was proposed by the Commission on a Way Forward, and found to be in order. 

Bishops do engage in the teaching office (BOD, 403.B) during this season. In matters of church unity, doctrine and mission, bishops have a teaching role (BOD, 403.E). This clear understanding led the 2016 General Conference to ask the bishops to lead in finding a way forward beyond our divisions (BOD, 414.1). 

When the church is in conference, bishops preside (BOD, 403.F); they order the deliberation, in accordance with the rules of the General Conference but do not vote on the composition of delegations or the substance of the petitions. 

We honor the roles of the elected delegations, the Commission on the General Conference, the Judicial Council and indeed all of our global membership. Together, we commit ourselves daily to the command of the apostle Paul, to “make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4. 3).

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.