All about Bishops


In Lancaster Amish country

A few of my friends insists on calling me “Bishop.” If I protest, one of them explains that he, too, is an ordained bishop. He attended one meeting of the bishops of his conference, and then they decided to disband, but he has been a bishop ever since.  So despite my protests, I am, at least to him, a bishop.  We are colleagues, and we’re friends.

It is true that for about 10 years I was an active bishop ordained by the Lancaster Mennonite Conference. I recall those years of service with great pleasure. We did not always agree then, and I’m sure there is some dissent now.

young menLong before I came on the scene as a bishop the rule required unanimous consent before a proposal could be taken to the ministers and deacons of the conference for a decision. When I arrived as a bishop about sixty-five years ago the rule had changed. Then only four fifths of the bishops were required for a vote to be affirmative.  I don’t know what the rule is now. Rules do change over time.

Now it is reported that the bishops propose that the Lancaster Conference leave Mennonite Church USA over issues that they believe to be too wrong to be ignored.  The proposal is reported to include permission for congregations to remain with the Lancaster Conference and with the MCUSA if they choose the dual connection.


A “merit card” received by my mother from her elementary school teacher NOTE the Bible verse.

BUT WAIT, it is reported that the bylaws of MCUSA must be changed for congregations to belong to MCUSA and also belong to a conference that is at variance with it.

Two sad observations:  1.  The bishops are giving the wrong example.  They have chosen to do things the old, but wrong, way: 1.  Split from those with whom you don’t agree.  2. If bylaws get in the way of love, it is much better to live by grace than by law.

 Lancaster Bishops

decree: agree with us now

and stay, or just leave.

If you know how to connect with a member of the Lancaster Conference, you have my permission to forward this blog.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
This entry was posted in Biblical Interpretation, Church, Faith, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to All about Bishops

  1. Bob Krady says:

    You are a wise man, Martin.

    Bob Krady

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.