Doesn’t this add an interesting set of wrinkles to the whole clergy accountability discussion? (Text copied from the UM Reporter Facebook feed.)
Bishop Earl Bledsoe has reversed his decision to voluntarily retire, and has promised to fight to remain an active bishop. He said at the close of the North Texas Conference’s annual meeting today that he’d been told in a recent South Central Jurisdiction episcopacy committee meeting that he would not be accepted for a second term in North Texas and that no other conference would have him. He said he was asked what his options were and was told he could take voluntary retirement or be involuntarily retired. He made a videotape announcing his retirement, but said today that he and his wife had prayed about it and decided: “We’re not going to retire … We’re going to fight.” Afterwards, he said a fresh, favorable statistical report on the conference, including increased worship attendance, helped persuaded him to reverse course. He said he’ll appeal if he’s involuntarily retired by the episcopacy committee. “I feel like I have been an effective leader,” he told conference members. His remarks, which closed the meeting, drew applause and some gave him a standing ovation. Others said the conference is in “shock” and wondering what comes next.