Monday, September 16, 2013
JEAN'S MEETINGS HAS A NEW BISHOP
We knew our Bishop had cancer and has been treated for it for the past few years. Rumors of his possible stepping down had been heard. On this Sunday, after meeting it was asked that all who were not baptized in the meetings to please step outside the building. It was then that he told us that in addition to his cancer he just recently found out that he had the first stages of dementia. Do to his age (80) and his health, he would be stepping down. We were asked to pray during the coming week, not only for himself, but for who we felt God would want to replace him as Bishop. Our Bishop said he was doing so at this time as he did not feel that he could do our meetings and give God the service that should be done. He would also, as long as he retained his mind, be able to help or advise, if wanted, his knowledge to help the new Bishop take over. And, as we are, he was curious, as to who God would chose for our next Bishop.
Our Bishop is the head of our meetings (church). He does not only weddings, baptism, meeting services and funerals, he also handles all the finances, people's problems, shunning, - just about everything. When a boy is baptized, he is considered a man. One of the teachings for a boy's baptism is that if he is chosen Bishop, deacon or minister - it is for life. Even though our Bishop stepped down, he is still a Bishop until the day he passes.
Most men do not look forward to being selected Bishop. The meetings and service for God come first, your family, farm, and all else comes second. As Bishop, God comes first. Although the deacons, and ministers help, it is the Bishop that makes all final decisions. Some things, we vote for in meetings, but most are Bishop made. Once they are elected, the weight falls on them. It is an honor, but it is also the heavy weight. The Bishop does not receive any pay for the position.
During the week, we prayed and discussed who we thought the Lord was leading for this position. Although Michael and Edward are not baptized yet and can not vote, we asked who they thought. Of course, rumors were going around about who should be selected.
After meeting the next Sunday, again all not baptized were ask to please step outside. One by one we went into the council room and told our Bishop and deacons who we thought the Lord wanted. Once everyone had gone though, there had been 10 men selected. Bishop came out to the front and named those that were selected. David and Martha's husband, Joseph, were two of the selected. This number had to be brought down to six, so again we went in one by one and voted. When that was done the Bishop and deacons selected the six with the highest votes. Again, David and Joseph were in the group.
Six bibles were brought out, the Bishop prayed and a small slip of paper with a bible quote was put in one of the bibles. The Bishop mixed the bibles. The deacons mixed the bibles and those who were selected could mix the bibles. One by one the men chose a bible and sat down at the front table and one by one opened the bibles.
I remember Martha saying Joseph wouldn't be chosen because he had married a Englisher. I reminded Martha, she had converted, but she said she still felt he wouldn't be chosen. The man with the fourth bible was David, The other three had opened with no paper. David opened his - there was no paper. We found Martha was wrong in her statement because when Joseph opened the bible, the paper came out. He is our new Bishop.
Joseph was sort of in shock and Martha had tears. The weight had fallen on him and his family. Our previous Bishop said "The Lord has spoken." and kissed Joseph on each cheek, then shook his hand. All the men shook his hand and the ladies shook Martha's, who was also in shock. When the door was opened to all the people outside, Joseph was standing in the door way, to let the others know he is the Bishop.
Slowly it has sunk in. As our Bishop he doesn't wear any special clothes, or jewelry or anything. He dresses as he did before. Nothing is added to his house or buggy to know he is Bishop. He is glad that our previous Bishop is here to give him guidance and help. The family has accepted his position. I am sure that Martha will write a post about this later on, but she asked me to do it this time.
We welcome Bishop Joseph.
Be With God,
Jean's church does not have stain glass windows like the above in her church. I just thought it would be well with this post.
JEAN'S GRANDMOTHER OLIVE IS COMING NEXT MONDAY.