After electing three new bishops on November 4th, delegates to the Western Jurisdictional Conference learned on November 5th that bishops new and recently elected were assigned to episcopal areas for the remainder of the 2020-2024 quadrennium.
Bishop Dottie Escobedo-Frank will start her term as bishop of the California-Pacific Conference on Jan. 1, 2023. She has served as both a rural and big-city church pastor in the Desert Southwest Conference, supervised churches as a district superintendent, and helped advance immigration initiatives throughout her ministry.
“I’ve always worked from the ground,” said Escobedo-Frank. “I won’t be a bishop who sits in Zoom meetings all the time- I hope.”
Escobedo-Frank’s family has a rich history in the Methodist tradition, with her mother’s grandfather serving as a circuit rider in the early church in Oklahoma and Kansas. Her grandmother crossed the Rio Grande while in labor with her father to find religious freedom.
She was raised along the border in Nogales, both on the U.S. and Mexican sides. She believes the United Methodist Church, especially in the Western Jurisdiction, is poised to be an example of what it means to be the church right now in the world- through relationships, community engagement, and what she described as John Wesley’s “perfecting love” by including those who live on the margins of society and don’t have a seat at the table.
“I think growing in love is what can change us,” she said. “Those are the places we need to grow. We’re working on it. We’ve made some steps. But we have a way to go still.”
We look with hope toward the future of bishop Escobedo-Frank’s leadership!
Article adapted from calpacumc.org