|First United Methodist Woman Bishop Outside of USA is Elected in Germany|
The Rev. Rosemarie Wenner of Germany has become the first woman elected to the United Methodist episcopacy outside of the United States.
She was elected at the Germany Central Conference of the denomination convened in Wuppertal on February 16. She received two-thirds of the 100 votes cast on the fourth ballot.
Currently the superintendent of the Frankfurt District, she will succeed Bishop Walter Klaiber on April 1, 2005.
The first woman bishop of The United Methodist Church was elected in the North Central Jurisdiction of the US in 1980. Bishop Marjorie Matthews served for four years in Wisconsin. There are numerous women bishops in the USA today.
“We rejoice with the Church in Germany in the election of Rev. Rosemarie Wenner to the episcopacy,” said the Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. “Her commitment to global mission and ministry are well-known through her work with European Pan-Methodism and her participation in the 2004 General Conference. We look forward to a productive partnership with her in the future.”
In Europe, Africa and the Philippines, The United Methodist Church is organized into “central conferences,” comparable to USA jurisdictional (regional) units, that elect the bishops.
Rosemarie Wenner, 49, grew up in Eppingen in southern Germany and studied at the United Methodist Theological Seminary in Reutlingen. She held pastorates in Karlsruhe-Durlach, Hockenhiem, Darmstadt-Sprendlingen before her appointment as the Frankfurt district superintendent in 1996.
United Methodist bishops outside the United States are elected for four year terms, rather than for life as in the USA. They may be reelected. Bishop Klaiber, who will retired on March 31, has held office for 16 years. He is a highly respected Christian leader in predominantly Lutheran and Roman Catholic Germany.
The United Methodist Church in Germany has a membership of 65,000 and a constituency
of twice that number organized into three annual conferences with some 500
congregations. Its central conference meets every four years.
Date posted: Feb 17, 2005