November 16, 2022
The Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops and Committee on the Episcopacy released the following announcement Nov. 16, 2022:
The Council of Bishops has approved the recommendation from the Northeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops (COB) and The Committee on the Episcopacy (COE) that Retired Bishop Peggy A. Johnson serve as Interim Bishop for the New England Annual Conference (NEAC) beginning January 1, 2023, through August 31, 2024.
The New England Annual Conference did not receive an assignment or coverage at the conclusion of the 21st Session of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Pursuant to Para. 407 of the 2016 Book of Discipline (BOD), the College of Bishops fills vacancies in such circumstances. After consultation with the appropriate stakeholders, the COB and COE agreed that Bishop Johnson possessed the gifts and graces to lead the NEAC during this interim period.
In discussing this scenario with Bishop Johnson, she articulated that she feels called by God to this particular need and is willing to relocate to New England to provide residential leadership, holistic pastoral care and collaborative oversight.
After reviewing the Conference Profile and Cover Page, as well as The New England Declaration (their detailed strategic vision for inclusive mission and ministry), we met with the NEAC Committee on the Episcopacy and the cabinet. We spent considerable time listening to and discussing their needs, priorities and hopes for their next servant leader.
These conference leadership teams agreed upon NEAC’s top priorities for their interim servant leader: a) pastoral care and healing; b) a willingness to embrace the vision already cast, while empowering those within the conference to champion its implementation; and c) relationship building.
Upon hearing this news we became more confident that our discernment was divinely inspired. Bishop Johnson excels in each of these areas. Therefore, we shared our recommendation and Bishop Johnson's name was received with enthusiasm and thanksgiving. These leaders also provided insights that will help position this coverage arrangement for success.
Please pray for Bishop Johnson and Rev. Mary Johnson as they live into this new opportunity. They are excited to serve and look forward to visiting New England soon. We give God thanks for their willingness to offer themselves so quickly after retirement. We thank you in advance for your support.