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Connectional Table Chair passes to Bishop Christian Alsted


May 17, 2016

Portland: The Connectional Table welcomed their new chairperson, Bishop Christian Alsted of the Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area, who was appointed by the Council of Bishops for the 2017 – 2020 quadrennium. The outgoing chair, Bishop Bruce Ough assumed the presidency of the Council of Bishops on Thursday May 12. During the meeting of the Connectional Table on the morning of Monday, May 16, 2016, the members of the board thanked Bishop Ough for his leadership and service over the last quadrennium.

Bishop Alsted also offered thanks to his episcopal colleague and offered a brief centering reflection for CT members on the first letter of Peter, comparing United Methodists to “living stones” working together to building the house of God. He also drew upon the work of Austrian architect, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who designed structures with no straight lines and without 90 degree edges. “There are oddly shaped rooms, lots of colors… strange stairways,” Alsted explained, “and that is how I see the UMC. With all our diversity with all of the colors, cultures and experiences, coming together and being one house.” He continued, “It is complicated to be one house. You cannot simply put fixed pieces together… we all need to collaborate to build the house together in unity. I look forward to serving with you.”

The Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker, executive secretary of the Connectional Table, added her words of welcome to Bishop Alsted as he assumes this in this new role. “We are grateful to the Council of Bishops for their nomination of Bishop Alsted. His leadership of the Connectional Table into the next quadrennium will strengthen our ongoing commitment to live as an authentically worldwide church.”

Paragraph 904 of The United Methodist Book of Discipline calls the Connectional Table to “discern and articulate the vision of for the church and the stewardship of mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church as determined by the actions of General Conference and in consultation with the Council of Bishops.”

General Conference is being held May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, Oregon.


About the Connectional Table
The Connectional Table is where leaders of The United Methodist Church discern and articulate the vision for the church and where ministry and money are brought to the same table to coordinate the mission, ministries and resources of the church.

Media Contact:
Meredith Hoxie Schol
PHONE: (773) 714-1517