From Bishop Suarez
Oct. 31, 2019

Dear friends in Christ,

Over the past year, I have worked alongside my bishop colleagues in Region 9 to utilize our position to address systemic issues facing women rostered ministers. Guided by the work of a core team of women leaders, in May 2019 all Region 9 bishops gathered to begin work on a “Bishops’ Relational Agreement for Candidacy, Call Process, and Boundaries.” We are thankful that in July 2019 this agreement was adopted and we are eager to share it now with leaders throughout the region. On this day when we celebrate the Reformation, we continue to be reformed in our work alongside women leaders.

When the social statement “ Faith, Sexism, and Justice: a Call to Action passed at the recent churchwide assembly, it was accompanied by implementing resolutions. This relational agreement and our work together is a very clear way that we are living into this call for action and to be a church of gender-equitable leadership.

Please read the related press release and full text of the relational agreement. Know this is only the beginning of our work. The “Bishops’ Relational Agreement…” is a dynamic document which will be reviewed, adapted, and affirmed annually in July. Join me in praying for the Spirit’s continued move in our region and throughout this church.

As we continue to live into our commitment to intentional diversity, healthy leadership, and vital ministries, this agreement invites us to not just acknowledge the validity of women in ministry, but affirms that we value their leadership and are committed to promote equity and justice for all. I am honored and blessed by the many women in leadership at all levels of this synod. But I know there is still work we can do together to visibly and directly recognize and strengthen the contribution of all whom God calls into service and ministry.

Thank you for your partnership.

Together in Christ,

+Pedro

Bishop Pedro
Bishop, Florida-Bahamas Synod