Martin D. McLee - Prayers of the Righteous Availeth Much

Martin D. McLee - Prayers of the Righteous Availeth Much

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Dear New York Annual Conference Family:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 NRSV)

From my most recent letter to you, I have learned that the “prayers of the righteous folk of the NYAC and beyond availeth much!” (Adapted, James 5:16, KJV). One of my prayer partners revealed to me that I have had more than half of the English-speaking world praying for me and the global community praying for me in their first languages. I certainly have felt the bombardment of heaven on my behalf.

I write to inform you that the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church has approved my request for a Leave of Absence under paragraph 410.1 of the 2012 Book of Discipline in order to continue my time of healing and restoration. The leave is granted for up to six months, beginning retroactively July 1, 2014. This request was supported after consultation with the New York Area Committee on the Episcopacy and approvals from the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops and Committee on the Episcopacy.

The Executive Committee also approved Bishop Neil Irons, retired, for ad interim service (Paragraph 818.12) in the New York Area during my leave. Bishop Irons has graciously consented to come out of retirement and offer his well experienced gifts of episcopal leadership to the New York Area. Bishop Irons has served twelve years as the resident bishop of the New Jersey Area, and then eight years as the resident bishop of the Harrisburg Area, retiring in 2004. In 2009, Bishop Irons was asked to serve as the Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops. Bishop Irons brings a great depth of experience to the office of bishop. I am grateful that he will be able to lead our Area.

Know that while I am praying for you, I will not be available to you while I'm on leave. I will be focusing all of my energies on my healing and recuperating.

“Somebody prayed for me, had me on their mind,
Took the time to pray for me.
I’m so glad they prayed, I'm so glad they prayed,
I'm so glad they prayed for me.”

All my prayers,

Bishop Martin D. McLee

Bishop Martin D. McLee