What is the Episcopal Fund?
Bishops have a very special role as they are elected and consecrated to speak to the church and from the church into the world. Bishops are called by God from many settings and bring to the church" . ..varieties of gifts... the same Spirit...varieties of service...varieties of activities...the same God" (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, NRSV). Their role is both practical and visionary since bishops oversee and promote the church's spiritual and temporal interests.
Why give to the Episcopal Fund? Bishops oversee the United Methodist faith community. Their guidance depends on our financial support. The fund supports the office operations, travel salaries, health insurance, pensions and other expenses of the bishops' office. The fund supports 69 active bishops and approximately 125 retired bishops and surviving spouses in the five U.S. Jurisdictions and the Central Conferences (Europe, Africa and the Philippines).
The bishops in The United Methodist Church oversee and are responsible for the congregations in their respective episcopal areas. Bishops determine pastoral appointments. Bishops counsel with pastors, encourage congregations and lead in many ways. Supported by your gifts to the Episcopal Fund, bishops not only lead in the connectional ministry of the church, but you will also find them on the forefront of world issues encourage secular leaders to incorporate faith in their decision making.
Previously published on umc.org.