Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Q&A: How will Bishop’s appointment to three conferences impact the OKUMC?

11/10/2021

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2022, Bishop James Nunn will be appointed to three conferences: the Oklahoma Conference, the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference and the Northwest Texas Conference. The appointment was announced by the South Central Jurisdiction on June 3.

In order to increase transparency and clear communication regarding the new appointment, the Contact has curated a list of questions and answers to address potential uncertainties and concerns. Additional questions regarding the appointment may be addressed in later issues.

Why was Bishop Nunn appointed to a third conference?

The South Central Jurisdiction announced the retirement of two bishops effective Jan. 1, 2022: Bishop J. Michael Lowry of the Central Texas Conference and Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe of the Northwest Texas and New Mexico conferences. The appointments were divided among three currently serving bishops, including Bishop Nunn, in order to fill a need for conference leadership.

Will any of the conferences be combined ?

In a letter to the conference dated June 3, Bishop Nunn wrote:

“There will be no changes to the conference boundaries, offices, cabinets, or structures of any of the conferences.

“I will continue to meet with the executive staff, full and appointive cabinets, and the committees, commissions, and boards I currently serve.

“There are no plans to merge the conferences.”

How long is the additional appointment supposed to last?

In their announcement, the SCJ stated: “The SCJ Committee on Episcopacy will make the assignment of bishops once the new bishops are elected at the next regular session of Jurisdictional Conference.”

At this time, the next regularly scheduled Jurisdictional Conference is scheduled for Nov. 2-4, 2022. Bishop Nunn has stated that the normal cycle of electing, assigning, and retiring bishops will begin again at that time.

How much time will Bishop Nunn be able to spend in Oklahoma?

Bishop Nunn will spend as much time as he is able to in and with the Oklahoma Conference.

In a statement on June 3, he stated that his availability to the executive leadership and cabinet should not be significantly different than it is now. He will continue to work through Zoom and attend in-person meetings as needed.

In his statement, Bishop Nunn said the major changes for him were restrictions on his calendar and the number of people who report to him directly rising from 15 to 21.

The bishop will spend as much time as he is able to with each conference, and he will do everything he can to divide his time and attention fairly.

What if we have a special event we want the bishop to attend?

While Bishop Nunn’s calendar may be more restricted regarding in-person attendance of special events, he is able to film video messages for congregations.

To request a video from the bishop, contact Tabitha Beckman in the Communications Ministry at 405-530-2075.

What if I have another question?

Further questions may be sent to the Assistant to the Bishop at jharris@okumc.org or to the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop at pweatherford@okumc.org.

 

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