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Jurisdictions are regional bodies that:

  • Promote the evangelistic, missionary, educational, and benevolent interest and institutions of The United Methodist Church;
  • Elect and deploy bishops to residential assignments;
  • Appoint various committees to nominate leaders to serve within our jurisdiction and at the broader, general UMC level.; and,
  • Support and hold accountable the ministries of the jurisdiction.

The Southeastern Jurisdiction consists of 14 Annual Conferences.

What is going to happen Nov. 2-4? One of the main roles of the jurisdction is to elect and deploy bishops to the annual conferences. The meeting will consist of worship, meetings of various groups, with the centerpiece being the election of bishops.

How are bishops elected? An elder is endorsed at the annual conference level. The Rev. Tom Berlin was endorsed as the Virginia Conference nominee at its June 2022 session. The nominees submit a biographical form and video that are available HERE.

The nominees are interviewed by the various delegations at the conference. Then the actual election process happens. Candidates may also be written in.

Where’s my representation in this process? Virginia has 44 delegates to the SEJ. These delegates are elected by the annual conference. Twenty-two are clergy and 22 are laity. These delegates were elected in 2019.

Who makes the assignments to the annual conferences? After the bishops are elected, a Committee on the Epsicopacy consisting of one clergy (Tom Berlin) and one lay delegate (Martha Stokes) from each annual conference looks at the gifts and talents and makes the assignments. The Jurisdictional Conference as a whole makes the final assignments.

Virginia does have an epsicopal delegate (Berlin) who is the head clergy delegate in Virginia. If he is elected as bishop, he won’t be able to represent Virginia on the Committee on the Episcopacy. Another clergy delegate would take his place.

Could Bishop Lewis be assisgned to another conference? She could be. All bishops, newly elected and current, are subject to assignment. Bishops are assigned for a four-year period. The Judicial Council decided to hold a Jurisdictional Conference now because of retirements and some bishops serving two conferences.

If Bishop Lewis does stay, would she be reassigned in 2024? If she is reassigned in January of 2023, that will put her in Virginia for two four-year time periods. There are some special circumstances were a bishop could be assigned for a third quadrennium.

If Virginia is assigned a new bishop, when would they start? January 1, 2023.

All Virginia updates will be shared on this site at

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