After a day filled with votes, holy conferencing, votes, reports, votes, the approval of a new future together for the Mountain Sky Area, votes, a retirement celebration for Bishop Warner Brown, and more votes, delegates have finally elected a new bishop!
The Rev. Karen Oliveto has been elected to replace the retiring Bishop Brown joining the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops in service to a still to be chosen episcopal area. Rev. Oliveto currently serves as the senior pastor of Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco. Glide is the Western Jurisdiction’s largest membership congregation, and one of the top 100 largest membership congregations in the denomination.
The WJ Committee on the Episcopacy can now begin their work of selecting an area for the new bishop to be assigned to. It would be highly unusual for a new bishop to serve their first quadrennium in their home conference. Overriding a disciplinary rule against this requires a 2/3 vote of both the jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy and the jurisdictional conference.
Since this is the case as Rev. Oliveto is from the conference Bishop Brown currently serves, it is far more likely that a newly consecrated Bishop Oliveto will be assigned to a different area starting a potential move chain familiar to those who pay attention to our itinerant system.
So we don’t know much at this moment but we’ll know a whole lot more in the morning. Tomorrow the episcopal assignments will be set for the jurisdiction and a new bishop should be consecrated just after lunch.
For the latest news, keep an eye on the Western Jurisdiction website. All major decisions of import will be posted there.
You can also search for conversations and news about the WJ on social media using the hashtags #WJUMC and #PNWUMC