This afternoon we elected a new bishop! HER name is Peggy Johnson and I could not be more happy. I kept joking that I wanted a woman of color to be bishop, and honestly I do long to see more peoples represented in our leadership. I saw a few wonderfully inspiring women of color who have inspired me to keep pushing for racial justice, but they were not elected. That said Peggy represents a group that is even more under-represented: people with disabilities. She teaches the immersion into deaf culture for Wesley Theological Seminary. She spoke passionately (and signed) about how people with disabilities need a voice. I could see the joy of the two deaf young men when the election was announced. This is such a great day for our Jurisdiction and I hope it is affirming for our members with disabilities.
This week has done a lot to encourage me about the state of the church. Last night we celebrated the retirement of two female bishops, and today we heard preaching from the first Japanese-American bishop. There is a lot of talk about going out into communities and meeting people wher they are. There is talk about starting new ministries that reach people who were previously ignored by the church. We created a new jurisdictional council on young adult ministries, which is an important step. We're still talking about the loss of members and money, but I think people are encouraged by some of the ministries and movements that are happening.