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Bishop McLee to take leave of absence


Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church
100 Maryland Ave. NE
Washington, D.C. 20002


July 7, 2014

Bishop McLee to take leave of absence

Washington, D.C.: Bishop Martin McLee of the New York Episcopal Area will take a leave of absence for a time of healing and restoration, for a period of up to six months.

The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops approved the request from Bishop McLee, retroactive to July 1, completing the sequence of required approvals outlined in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. During the interim period, retired Bishop Neil Irons will assume the responsibility of leading the New York Annual Conference.

Paragraph 410.1 of the Book of Discipline states, "A bishop may be granted a leave of absence for a justifiable reason for not more than six months in consultation with the area committee on episcopacy and with the approval of the College of Bishops, the jurisdictional or central conference committee on episcopacy, and the executive committee of the Council of Bishops. During the period for which the leave is granted, the bishop shall be released from all episcopal responsibilities, and another bishop chosen by the executive committee of the Council of Bishops shall preside in the episcopal area.  Salary and other benefits shall be continued through the Episcopal Fund."

In a post on the New York Annual Conference website, Bishop McLee said, "I write from a place of gratitude thanking you for your prayers, cards and other acts of faith on my behalf. While I was quite sick, I am much better now. I am relying on God's continuous healing in my life as the doctors do what they are trained to do. As a result, I am closer to my goal of being completely restored to good health."

“We respect Bishop McLee’s privacy in this matter and offer our prayers for his well-being and return to good health,” said Bishop Warner Brown, president of the Council. “We appreciate Bishop Irons’ willingness to step in and have the utmost confidence in his abilities.”


Diane Degnan
615.742.5406 (o) 615.483.1765 (c)