New England endorses Chang and Easterling as episcopal candidates

June 21, 2016

The Rev. We Hyun Chang, pastor at Belmont/Watertown UMC, and the Rev. Dr. LaTrelle Miller Easterling, Metro Boston Hope District Superintendent, were endorsed by the Annual Conference as episcopal candidates.

Both Rev. Chang and Rev. Easterling were supported by the New England Conference delegation to the General and Jurisdictional conferences.

Any elder in good standing is eligible to become a bishop.

The following names were lifted from the floor before the afternoon balloting on Saturday, June 18:

Sandra Bonnette-Kim
David Calhoun
Seok Hwan Hong
James McPhee
Rene Perez
The Conference rules allow endorsing of up to three episcopal candidates; 436 ballots were cast, and 219 votes were needed for endorsement.

The Northeastern Jurisdiction will elect two bishops; there are nine in the jurisdiction. The 10 conferences meet July 11-15, 2016 in Lancaster, PA. Nominations can come from the floor of that conference as well.  

Rev. We Hyun Chang

Born to a Methodist pastor’s family in Korea, graduated from Boston University, School of Theology, ordained in 1996, three-time delegate to GC/JC


(the first elected clergy in 2012 & 2016), member of the committee on Episcopacy of both the annual conference and the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, former chair of the Church & Society and of New England JFON, served 4 congregations of different sizes and cultures, currently the pastor of Belmont-Watertown UMC, Belmont, MA, a husband to Rev. Yoo-Yun Cho-Chang, and a grateful father of Hope.

As an Episcopal leader, I hope to help UMC be:

  • A church that embodies Jesus honestly and fully through her words and actions

  • A church that is fully inclusive and leads the world to welcome and cherish all persons

  • A church that is humble enough to become friends to the least of the world but also bold enough to stand against the powers of domination, injustice, and oppression both within and outside of the church

  • A church that is more concerned about suffering lives and the hurting world than the survival of the institution

  • A church that instills passion and joy in its people and brings compassion and justice to the world

With a deep sense of privilege and humility, I offer my service to the office of Episcopacy of the United Methodist Church.

Rev. Dr. LaTrelle Miller Easterling

I offer myself for wider service in the United Methodist Church, having been nominated by members of the New England Conference. I do not make this decision lightly. After spending time in deep prayer, discernment, and consultation with trusted colleagues, I believe God is calling me to episcopal service. This calling has been affirmed and supported by the New England Conference Delegation, as well as others. 

My relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the core of my being. I remain connected to God through daily prayer, immersion in the Word of God,


and at times fasting to more clearly seek God’s presence. From my earliest days in the United Methodist church until now, this relationship has allowed me to hear God’s voice, and find the courage and strength to be led by the Spirit. I am passionate about my faith, and sharing God’s love through preaching, teaching, service, and witness.

There is nothing lost in God’s economy. Every aspect of my education, vocation, and leadership experience has uniquely prepared me to lead effectively. As a lawyer and mediator I learned the art of negotiation, analysis, problem solving, and conflict resolution. As a Human Resources Manager and Director I learned how to identify, develop, nurture, and deploy capable, competent leaders. As a pastor I learned how to compassionately and boldly preach and teach God’s Word, and inspire deeper discipleship. During my pastorate the churches I served grew both numerically and spiritually, and we strengthened our witness and outreach in our community.

There is a deep need for prophetic, hope-filled leadership and witness. My heritage and life are filled with experiences of triumph and overcoming. As a pastor, superintendent, and leader, I have embodied truth telling grounded in a deep spirituality and immovable faith in God. That same spirit will guide my work as an episcopal servant.

We are called to bear fruit in our ministry. Fruitfulness thrives with sound coaching, clear expectations, and just accountability. This understanding has helped me create partnerships with lay and clergy, which lead to growth, but more importantly to deeper discipleship. These insights will also enhance my episcopal leadership.

I unequivocally believe God created all persons in God’s image. I model this truth as a district superintendent. My episcopal leadership and voice will continue to model and proclaim this witness.

I love God and The United Methodist Church, and count it a privilege to serve God’s people. I prayerfully seek your consideration for episcopal service.