Under the theme “This I Know,” the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference began Tuesday with a session offered by the Committee on Episcopacy for delegates to get better acquainted with persons who have been nominated for the episcopacy.
While members of the South Carolina delegation welcomed a succession of episcopal nominees from other conferences, the Rev. Ken Nelson, South Carolina’s nominee, made the rounds of 12 other delegations to field questions. He was introduced by Dave Braddon, a South Carolina lay delegate from Bethany UMC in Summerville, and accompanied by his brother, Lewis Nelson.
The Conference officially opens with worship at 9 a.m. Wednesday. An offering will be received to benefit the United Methodist Committee on Relief and Native American Ministries in the SEJ. Native American Ministries leaders assisted in worship preparation for this Conference.
The five jurisdictional conferences of The United Methodist Church typically meet once every four years. However, the Conferences scheduled for 2020 were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the Council of Bishops called for Jurisdictional Conferences across the U.S. to meet November 2-5, 2022.
The primary business of the session will be the election and assignment of bishops. Any United Methodist ordained elder may be elected a bishop by any jurisdictional conference. Each jurisdiction establishes the percentage of votes needed for election. In the SEJ, 60 percent is needed. This year the balloting will be electronic.
In addition to the election of bishops, the Conference will hold several special worship services. The service of remembrance will be at 11 a.m. Thursday. Delegates will celebrate retiring bishops during the Thursday evening session.
The SEJ Conference will conclude on Friday, with the Service of Consecration for newly elected episcopal leaders.