July 5, 2021
Dear Members and Friends of the Desert Southwest Conference,
Grace and peace to you in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ!
As a result of my decision to request retirement under ¶ 408.2a of the 2016 Book of Discipline, the office of resident bishop for the Desert Southwest Conference becomes open. As prescribed in the Book of Discipline, the Council of Bishops has the responsibility of determining, who will serve as the episcopal leader for the Desert Southwest Conference until a new bishop is elected at a regular Jurisdictional Conference.
On July 2, 2021, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church announced that the Council has voted to approve the recommendations from the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops for the episcopal coverage for the Desert Southwest Conference, Phoenix Episcopal area.
Following proper procedure, the Council of Bishops announced that Bishop Grant J. Hagiya, resident bishop of the California-Pacific Conference, will serve as your bishop for this interim time. Please be assured that this is not in any way a step toward merger of the two conferences, but simply a plan for episcopal coverage for the Desert Southwest Conference. Details about any welcome events will be announced soon. In the meantime, a transition team has been constituted and plans for a smooth transition are being developed.
I know Bishop Hagiya as a cherished colleague and friend, so I ask you to please welcome him with open arms and warm hearts!
For those who are interested in more details about the role and election of bishops in The United Methodist Church, click here.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email my office.
In Christ, Bishop Bob