Please join us for worship on Sunday, September 22, when we celebrate United Methodist Women’s Sunday. Worship for the day will be led by the women of the congregation.
Our guest preacher will be Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, who served as the resident bishop of the Los Angeles Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church from 2000 until her retirement in 2012. Prior to being appointed to the Los Angeles Episcopal Area, Bishop Swenson served for eight years as the resident bishop of the Denver Episcopal Area where she oversaw the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Mary Ann has served The United Methodist Church in a number of capacities, including:
- Director and subsequently President of the Board of Discipleship;
- Chair of the General Board of Global Ministries’ Committee to Eliminate Institutional Racism;
- Director and subsequently President of the General Council on Finance and Administration; and
- President of the General Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns.
She has been a United Methodist representative to the World Council of Churches and currently serves as the Vice Moderator of that ecumenical organization’s Central Committee.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Bishop Swenson was raised and received her early education in Jackson, Mississippi. She graduated with a B.A. in Religion from Millsaps College in 1969. She later received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the School of Theology at Claremont based on her thesis entitled: “A Synthesis between Personal Piety and the Social Gospel in the Modern Church.” Ordained as a Deacon in 1973 and an elder in 1976, she served in a variety of ministry settings in Southern California and Washington, including Superintendent of the Puget Sound District.
Bishop Swenson describes herself as “an outspoken leader on issues of inclusiveness and violence. She was one of fifteen United Methodist Bishops who signed a statement during the 1996 General Conference protesting the denomination’s official stance condemning the practice of homosexuality as being “incompatible with Christian teaching.”
Bishop Swenson currently lives with her husband Jeff in Pasadena, California. She remains active in pursuing her dream of leading the church in “becoming a more inclusive community, justice seeking, and more perfect in love of God and neighbor.