I greet you in the name and with the love of Jesus who is the Christ.
I am writing to share with you the resolution of a very difficult matter in the life of our beloved denomination.
Almost two years ago some members of the California-Nevada Annual Conference filed complaints against their bishop, Bishop Minerva Carcaño. Bishop Carcaño was suspended from her episcopal functions while the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops engaged in a process to resolve the complaints. Unfortunately, the parties involved were not able to reach a Just Resolution. Therefore, Bishop Carcaño became the first bishop in the history of our denomination to be charged and sent to trial as a result of a complaint being filed against them. The trial, which was held in the North Central Jurisdiction, lasted four days. The jury found Bishop Carcaño “not guilty” of all four charges – which included some 26 specifications.
Because of our cultural preferences, dichotomous world views, certitude, and “doubling down” over nuanced perspectives, ambiguity, and “changing our minds”; it may be difficult for those who initially thought Bishop Carcaño was guilty to accept the verdicts of the jury. They may try to discredit it. Similarly, it may be difficult for those who believed in her innocence or had questions about the justice of the process to extend grace to those who brought the complaints or testified against Bishop Carcaño. They may try to vilify those who brought the complaints or testified.
This is a moment for us to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to move ourselves beyond our cultural tendencies and natural proclivities and live out the discipleship mandates of grace and love. As Bishop Gwynn remarked after he read the verdicts, we are – across the denomination – in need of healing. He entreated all of us to be part of the healing process.
We can either be a part of the healing or perpetuate the trauma by the words we use and the ways we choose to talk about the trial and those who participated in the process. I believe our discipleship demands we choose to be a part of the healing.
Please continue to pray for Bishop Carcaño as she returns from her lengthy suspension. Please pray for those who brought complaints against her as they face the reality that Bishop Carcaño is not guilty of the charges brought against her. Pray for the California-Nevada Annual Conference, Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops, and all of the jurisdictional committees involved in the process. Pray for Bishop Gwynn and the members of the jury. Pray for our beloved denomination!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. As for the things that you have learned and received and heard and noticed in me, do them, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
Peace and blessings,
Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi