May 27, 2020
Beloved in Christ,
I greet you all in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I am writing today with regard to the announcement made by the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishopsregarding a plan for episcopal supervision until the
postponed 2020 session of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, which will take place in November 2021.
This plan was developed by the NEJ College of Bishops and the NEJ Committee on Episcopacy and approved by the Council of Bishops.
As part of the plan, I have been asked to remain active in my current assignment until after the Jurisdictional Conference. I had expected to retire Aug. 31, 2020. All nine active NEJ bishops will remain in place under this plan. The date of transition for bishops following the Jurisdictional Conference is still to be determined.
I am grateful to the NEJ College of Bishops, the NEJ Committee on Episcopacy and the Council of Bishops for their prayerful discernment on how best to move forward. It is a gift to have continuity of leadership and established relationships to help us navigate in these uncertain times.
These are indeed challenging times, and I am so grateful to each and every one of you for your ministry and your faithfulness.
I want you to know that my family and I carefully and prayerfully considered this decision, and while it was not what we had planned, we are servants of Jesus Christ and of the church. I am fully committed to serving our global United Methodist Church and as the spiritual and temporal leader of the New England Conference as we undertake this journey together.
I also want to express my deep appreciation for the encouragement and support of the New England Area Committee on Episcopacy, my Extended Cabinet and the Conference staff.
Siblings in Christ, so much has changed and is changing in our world and in our church, but our mission and vision have not changed. And in these turbulent days, the world needs to hear the Good News more than ever. Working together and relying on the strength of our Creator God, I know that we, like the exiles in Babylon (Psalm 137), can learn to sing God’s song in this new land for such a time as this.
Please keep Prema and me and our family in your prayers.
In Christ’s love,
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar