First-elected delegates excited for the gifts, graces Bishop Bridgeforth will bring to the GNW Area

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After it was announced Bishop Bridgeforth would be assigned to the Greater Northwest Area, he gathered with the delegation for a quick reception and moment of prayer at the Western Jurisdictional Conference in Salt Lake City.

First-elected clergy and lay delegates and others from the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conferences share their thoughts on why they were happy to vote for Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth during the Western Jurisdictional Conference. They also share their thoughts on why they believe he will be a bishop that will serve the people of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area well.

“He’s deeply spiritual, he’s a great preacher and he’s got lots of energy and I think he has the kind of systems thinking that will enable him to deal with three conferences that have different needs and cultures. I’ve known him for a long time, because we’ve served together for a couple of quadrennia. I was excited to have a chance to vote for him.” – Jan Nelson, OR-ID first-elected lay delegate

“Bishop Cedrick brings a wealth of experience in organizational leadership, visioning, coaching, and innovation. He is wholeheartedly committed to the UMC and carries a beautiful vision for an even more faithful church. I’m excited about the energy, enthusiasm, and positivity he will bring to the GNW and can’t wait to work with him!” – Rev. Elizabeth Schindler, PNW Conference first-elected clergy delegate

“It has been my privilege to work alongside Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth over the last several years both as ‘First Elects’ from our respective conferences and as directors of communication. I experienced him as a collaborator and one who is not afraid to take a stand when his faith, and the call to love, requires it. Bishop Cedrick brings a wealth of local church and denominational experience and I look forward to walking with him as we live into the future God has prepared for us.” – Rev. Jim Doepken, Alaska Conference first-elected clergy delegate.

“I experience Bishop Cedrick Bridgeforth as a motivator. In November of 2019, I had an opportunity to be in conversation with now Bishop Cedrick. During that conversation, I was expressing hesitancy in an aspect of my ministry. I remember him asking me some probing questions that motivated and energized me to trust the guidance of the Spirit in my life and ministry. I am excited to welcome Bishop Cedrick and I look forward to his Episcopal leadership. I see that he will bring us motivational leadership that is grounded in the call to follow the path of Jesus in our ministries throughout the Greater Northwest.” – Rev. Wendy Woodworth, OR-ID first-elected clergy delegate.

“Bishop Cedrick’s depth of experience as a pastor, superintendent, dean of cabinet, as well as being a coach and consultant are just some of the many things, he brings to all of us in the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area. His experience includes working with complex systems which I view as especially beneficial to us as we continue to grow as an area, and seek as multiple conferences, to share resources while also maintaining our own uniqueness. He purposefully seeks, through his collaborative leadership style, to build trust. I am especially excited that as a strong motivator/energizer he also carries a non-anxious presence, creating connections, recognizing the gifts of the whole, but always with a priority focus of people verses process.” – JoAnne Hayden, Alaska Conference first-elected lay delegate

“I’m excited because he’s really prepared to be a bishop and really hit the ground running. The fact that there is another queer bishop on the Council of Bishops, well, that’s just a bonus. We’re all looking for qualified bishops on the basis of skills, not identity.” – Rev. Daryl Blanksma, OR-ID Conference reserve clergy delegate, member of the queer clergy caucus.

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