Robert Hoshibata elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church
  
July 16, 2004           
 
SAN JOSE, Calif. (UMNS) — The Rev. Robert Hoshibata of the Pacific-Northwest Annual (regional) Conference has been elected a bishop by the Western Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church.
 
Hoshibata, who lives in Seattle and is superintendent of the Seattle District and co-superintendent of the Tacoma District, was elected July 16. He will fill one of the vacancies created in the Western Jurisdiction’s College of Bishops by the retirements of two bishops.
 
Moments after being elected, Hoshibata said, “Thanks be to God!” Hoshibata said he wanted to work to revitalize churches that are tired and dying. “We need to all participate in the work of (reversing) what we’ve become used to -- the declining statistics. Much of that I believe is a spiritual discipline -- a concern that is of the soul and not just of the pocketbook.”

The new bishops are being elected by 88 delegates attending the July 14-17 conference. Hoshibata will become one of 50 active U.S. bishops leading the United Methodist Church and serving one of the episcopal areas of the eight annual conferences that make up the 12-state jurisdiction. The Western Jurisdiction is home to 427,000 United Methodists in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Guam and Saipan are also part of the jurisdiction.

A consecration service for the new bishops will be held at 2 p.m., July 17, at Los Altos United Methodist Church in San Jose.

An episcopal assignment committee is already considering where Hoshibata and other active bishops will serve for the next four years. Their assignments will be effective Sept. 1.

Endorsed by the National Federation of Asian-American United Methodists and the Pacific Northwest Conference, Hoshibata was elected on the 12th ballot, receiving 65 of the 88 votes cast. The number of votes needed to elect was 59.
 
While the Western Jurisdictional Conference is electing two bishops, four other United Methodist jurisdictional conferences are meeting to elect 19 others.

A jurisdictional conference has the following power and duties:

  • To promote the evangelistic, educational, missionary and benevolent interests of the church and to provide for interests and institutions within their boundaries. 
  • To elect bishops.
  • To establish and constitute jurisdictional conference boards as auxiliaries to the general boards of the church.
  • To determine the boundaries of annual conferences.
  • To make rules and regulations for the administration of the church’s work within the jurisdiction.
  • To appoint a committee on appeals. 

The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 by a merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist churches. Methodists elected their bishops at one national gathering until 1940, when the jurisdictional system was instituted. Bishops in the EUB church were elected at one national gathering until 1968.
 
News media contact: Linda Green, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or
newsdesk@umcom.org.

 

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