Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey Reflects on SCJ2022

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey
November 06, 2022

From: Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

As this new week begins, I am energized but also exhausted; excited, yet anxious; joyful, and sad. This week, I have experienced nearly every human emotion at a historic South Central Jurisdictional Conference. We made history in the election of three bishops on the very first ballot. This has never happened in a jurisdictional conference. 

We elected the first African-American woman in the SCJ and the first Native American in the entire United Methodist Connection. We also elected two women, which has never happened in this jurisdiction. Again, all on the very first ballot. The coffee pots were not even half empty, and our elections were complete.  

As you know, Bishop Delores J. Williamston will be the first African American resident bishop in Louisiana! Bishop Williamston is a passionate, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, and she will be an extraordinary leader for the Louisiana Conference. 

There's a beautiful photo at the top of this article. It was taken during the Consecration Service that concluded the South Central Jurisdiction. I had the privilege of playing a role in the consecration service for Bishop Williamston. To the best of our collective memories, we think this is the first time a person of color consecrated another person of color as a bishop. At that moment, history was not lost on me. It is a memory that will last a lifetime, and I pray that it's a moment that transforms lives.  

Meanwhile, I have been reassigned and will serve the Texas Conference beginning January 1, 2023. The Texas Conference is my "home" conference, having raised me in the faith and into my calling. 

Itineracy is an integral part of our United Methodist system, and with it comes joy and sorrow as we say hellos mixed with goodbyes. Yet, all the while, the beauty of the Connection is that we are all inextricably connected with one another and for one another. As each of us moves, we become woven into the fabric of another. 

Louisiana, you are a part of me that prepares me for my next assignment. You are woven into my very being, so you come with me in ways I cannot even measure.

I know you will prepare the same beautiful space for Bishop Williamston. I know this because you did so for me. Bishop Williamston will quickly become part of the beautiful fabric that is Louisiana.

Grace and Peace, 
Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey

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