An update on my retirement plans

Greater Northwest Area clergy and lay members of Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences,

Let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith…

After deep reflection, conversation with my family and consultation with trusted colleagues, I am withdrawing my request for retirement, effective January 2022, to continue my assignment to the Greater Northwest Area. I hope and pray that postponing retirement will relieve anxiety and contribute to an orderly transition of leadership for all the conferences in the Western Jurisdiction during this extended pandemic interruption of normalcy. I am not naming a new retirement date at this time but hope that it might follow in-person general and jurisdictional conferences in 2022, with the election and assignments of new bishops, for a new quadrennium, beginning January 1, 2023.

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky
Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky

I never intended my retirement to add to the uncertainty of this wilderness passage. I originally named January 1, 2022 as my retirement date so that my retirement would coincide with that of Bishop Hoshibata and possibly, Bishop Hagiya. At the time, we anticipated regular in-person general and jurisdictional conferences in the fall of 2021, when new bishops might be elected to begin serving as the new quadrennium began with the new year.

Since that request, general and jurisdictional conferences have been put off again, further postponing the election and assignment of new bishops. In light of these delays, the timing of my requested retirement is no longer helpful.

I have a renewed sense of focused mission for this extension of my active service and look forward to continuing to work with lay and clergy leadership of the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences.

Jesus is nudging and tugging the church to engage people and communities with the faith, hope and love of Jesus Christ in ways that bind up wounds, transform lives and overturn systems of exclusion and inequity. We can’t stop now.

I’m still running the race with Jesus. Won’t you pull up your socks, tie your shoelaces, strengthen your weak knees, and join me for the next leg of the race?

Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky

Comments (5)

  • Sometime you just cannot retire, God bless you and keep you in the palm of her hand during this difficult and troubling time.

  • Thank you for your continued service. The church and the world needs your leadership. I need your leadership. I first became aware of you +/- 30 years ago when attending a PNW United Methodist Women meeting on the west side. You were a young female pastor … setting the example of faithfulness & inclusion and challenging us to see that’s what God’s word calls us to do! You made an impression on me. I’ve since left Moscow and have lost touch with a church family for many reasons.
    However, I “happened” to look into the conference office website one day to see where some of my favorite pastors were …and realized that you had recently been appointed as our Bishop! I have followed you on line since then. I thank you for the nudges (maybe even shoves on occasion) your words have given me- none greater that “All means ALL” referring to the invitation to communion from one of you sermons at annual conference a couple of years ago!

    I think of those words she watching the local, national, &world news, when listening to NPR, when following my state legislature, when finding myself feeling superior to others because they are different! Thank you for putting your retirement on hold. YOU make a difference!! People like me need people like you!!!

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