Presiding Bishop

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The Presiding Bishop is an ecclesiastical position in some denominations of Christianity.

Lutheran[edit]

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America[edit]

The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the chief ecumenical officer of the church, and the leader and caretaker for the bishops of the synods. The presiding bishop chairs the biennial Church-wide Assembly and provides for the preparation of agendas for the assembly, the Church Council and its executive committee, the Conference of Bishops, and the Cabinet of Executives. The Presiding Bishop of the ELCA is elected to a six year term, available for re-election and is charged with initiating policy, developing strategy and overseeing administration of the entire church. The presiding bishop also serves as a figurehead and speaks on behalf of the entire church.

The ELCA's third Presiding Bishop, Mark Hanson, served two six-year terms from 2001 to 2013. Elizabeth Eaton was elected as the fourth (and first female) presiding bishop in August 2013.

Other Lutheran Churches[edit]

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), a mainline Lutheran body similar to the ELCA, uses the term "national bishop" for a similar position. Most other Lutheran churches in North America, especially the Confessional Lutheran bodies use a congregationalist structure and call their national leaders "president." The Lutheran Churches of Sweden and Finland use the term Archbishop.

Anglican[edit]

Episcopal Church in the USA[edit]

In the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, the Presiding Bishop is the chief pastor and primate of the national church and its nine ecclesiastical provinces.[1] The Presiding Bishop is charged with responsibility for leadership in initiating, developing, and articulating policy and strategy, overseeing the administration of the national church staff, and speaking for the church on issues of concern and interest.[2] He or she is the president of the House of Bishops and is elected by the church's General Convention to serve a single nine-year term.[3] The correct style for the Presiding Bishop is "The Most Reverend".

The role and importance of the office has grown over time.[4] Originally, the Presiding Bishop was simply the senior diocesan bishop who presided over the House of Bishops. In 1919, the office was transformed into an elected one, and in the 1940s the decision was made that the Presiding Bishop should resign any other jurisdictions for which he or she might have pastoral responsibility. In this respect, the office is different from that of an archbishop found in other churches in the Anglican Communion which have diocesan responsibilities in addition to overseeing a national church. In the 1970s, the Presiding Bishop was given authority to enter dioceses for sacramental and preaching ministry, consulting with bishops, and related purposes. The Presiding Bishop was given the title of primate in 1982.

Presently, Katharine Jefferts Schori holds the position, having been elected in June 2006.[5] She was invested and seated as Presiding Bishop in a service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. on November 4, 2006. Jefferts Schori is the first woman to hold the position.

Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America[edit]

Stephen Elliott, first bishop of Georgia was the only Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America.

Reformed Episcopal Church[edit]

Leonard W. Riches is the current Presiding Bishop. This church continues Apostolic Succession through George D. Cummins who left the Episcopal Church, USA in the 19th century.

Note: The Reformed Episcopal Church is not in communion with the Anglican Communion.

United Episcopal Church of North America[edit]

The Most Rev. Peter D. Robinson is the present Presiding Bishop of this church, which was organised in 1981. The UECNA derives its apostolic succession from the Episcopal Church via the Rt. Rev. Albert A. Chambers and the Anglican Catholic Church, and from other branches of the Anglican Communion and the Old Catholic Union of Utrecht via the Philippine Independent Catholic Church through that church's now defunct Anglican Rite Jurisdiction of the Americas. Unlike the Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church may retain his diocese after election. The UECNA's Presiding Bishop does not serve a fixed term, but rather serves in that capacity until his seventy-second birthday, a new Presiding Bishop having been elected at the preceding General Convention. In the event of an unexpected vacancy occurring, the senior bishop by date of consecration having jurisdiction serves as Presiding Bishop until an election can be held at the next regularly scheduled General Convention. The United Episcopal Church of North America is not part of the Anglican Communion.

Latter Day Saints[edit]

See also: Bishop (Latter Day Saints): Presiding Bishop and Presiding Bishop (LDS Church)

The Presiding Bishop is an office in the church hierarchy of several denominations of the Latter Day Saint or Mormonism movement. Each Presiding Bishop has two counselors; the three together form the Presiding Bishopric. A man recognized as a "literal descendent of Aaron" (or Kohanim) can, under the direction of the First Presidency, hold the office of Presiding Bishop alone, without counselors. To date, no man in any Latter Day Saint tradition has held the office of Presiding Bishop under these conditions.

The office shares its origin with that of bishop. Edward Partridge was the first man ordained to the office of bishop in the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on February 4, 1831. This office became known as the First Bishop and later the "Presiding Bishop" when subordinate bishops were called in the Nauvoo period (1839–1844).

After the 1844 succession crisis, the office of Presiding Bishop evolved separately in different denominations of the movement.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit]

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the largest denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement,[6] the Presiding Bishop is the highest leadership position within the church's Aaronic priesthood. The three members of the Presiding Bishopric act as "general authorities" of the church, oversee the temporal affairs (buildings, properties, commercial corporations, etc.) of the church and oversee the bishoprics of wards (congregations) throughout the world.

Along with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presiding Bishopric is a part of the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes, a quorum which oversees and authorizes the expenditure of all tithing funds. The Presiding Bishopric is also responsible for overseeing the Aaronic priesthood of the church, although most of the work in this area is delegated to the general presidency of the Young Men Organization.

The current Presiding Bishop of the church is Gary E. Stevenson.

Community of Christ[edit]

The Presiding Bishopric of the Community of Christ, the second largest denomination, are the chief financial officers and trustees of the church. As such, they are trustees in trust for all church property, including local congregational facilities. They are responsible for the administration of the temporal affairs of the whole church. They lead the Order of Bishops in providing support and mentoring to the financial officers of congregations and mission centers. The Presiding Bishopric serves also as the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood[7] and leads the Order of Bishops in providing support, training, and advocacy in empowering the Aaronic Ministers. They direct the stewardship education efforts of the church and lead financial development efforts with major donors. The Presiding Bishopric is a part of the World Church Leadership Council, along with the First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles. They also serve as members of the World Church Finance Board, which proposes budgets to the World Conference for approval.

The current Presiding Bishop of the church is Steven M. Jones[8] and the Counselors are Steven E. Graffeoand James A. Poirier.[8]

Church of God in Christ[edit]

The current presiding bishop of the Church Of God In Christ is Bishop Charles E. Blake,[9] pastor of West Angeles Church Of God In Christ in Los Angeles, CA. Bishop Charles E. Blake was appointed the seventh in succession as Presiding Bishop by the General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ on November 12, 2007. At the 101st Holy Convocation, during the quadrennial elections in 2008, Bishop Blake was re-elected as presiding bishop for another four-year term. As presiding bishop, Blake has become the new face of and an international spokesperson for Pentecostalism as it is known today, and he has devoted his time to making the church relevant to a technologically focused generation.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Episcopal Church (2009), Constitution and Canons, Title I Canon 2 Section 4 (a), p. 28.
  2. ^ Title I Canon 2 Section 4 (a) (1), p. 28.
  3. ^ Title I Canon 2 Section 2, p. 27.
  4. ^ Roozen, David A.; James R. Nieman, Editors (2005). Church, Identity, and Change: Theology and Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-2819-1. p. 201-202.
  5. ^ Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop, accessed January 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "Mormon Denominations". About Mormon denominations. Religion Facts. 
  7. ^ Van Leer, Twila (March 31, 2012). "LDS Church announces changes to presiding bishopric, Relief Society presidency, First Quorum of the Seventy". Deseret News. 
  8. ^ a b "Directory". Presiding Bishopric. Community of Christ Website. 
  9. ^ "The Presiding Bishop". Biography. Church of God In Christ. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Prince, Zenitha (July 1, 2013). "Bishop Blake Heralds Change in the Church of God in Christ". AFRO-American Newspapers. 

External links[edit]