Here is what's next.

Now that all three bishops have been elected it is assignment time. Instead of explaining the process myself, I am going to offer you what Corpus Christi District Superintendent and member of the Episcopacy Committee wrote back in March. You can read her entire post here:

Process for Election and Assignment of Bishops South Central Jurisdiction UMC 2016

Once all three elections have been completed, the committee will be sent to its deliberations undergirded by the prayers of the whole conference, asking God to lead the group and stating clearly that no decision is pre-determined. The committee’s assignment work allows room for the working of the Holy Spirit, through prayer, honest communication and relationship-building.  Their work will be based on trust:  trust in God, trust in each other, and trust in the process. 

The newly elected bishops will meet with the committee to share their gifts and graces, in anticipation of assignment to one of the conferences.  Then the committee will move into discernment, beginning their time together with a devotional, silent prayer, guided prayer, and communion. Charts with each bishop’s service history and stated gifts will be posted on the walls of the meeting room, and the representatives of each area will have time to develop a statement of their needs, hopes and dreams with regard to episcopal leadership. 

With all information displayed, and after silent prayer, area groups will work to develop a slate of assignments, matching 10 bishops to 10 areas.  Each area will submit one solution, and all 10 solutions will be transcribed to large paper, numbered, and posted on the wall, without revealing which area submitted which solution.  All solutions then become the property of the whole group.

Time is given for study, and amendments are allowed.  After silent prayer and reflection, each person votes by written ballot for three possible solutions from the 10 posted.  The three solutions with the most votes are retained.  All others are discarded.  There is time for comments and discussion.

After silent prayer and reflection, each person votes for two of the three remaining solutions, and the two with the most votes are retained.  More discussion follows, as does further silent prayer.  On the final vote, a simple majority makes the assignments.  Once the vote is completed, each person is encouraged to voice concerns or cares as necessary.  Prayers for healing, nurture, courage, grace and confidentiality are appropriate.  Before anyone leaves the room, all papers are gathered for shredding and disposal. 

When committee members leave their meeting room and prepare to return to the conference floor, the representatives from each episcopal area will walk directly to greet their corresponding bishop, whether new or returning.  The assignments recommended by the committee must then be approved by a vote of the jurisdictional conference.  The following morning, on Saturday, most episcopal areas hold a breakfast for their bishop, whether new or returning.  After the breakfast, all gather for a service of consecration for the new bishops.

The current Rio Texas representatives on the SCJ committee were actually elected by the former Rio Grande and Southwest Texas Conferences:  Edgar Avitia, Cindy Johnson, Jay Brim, and Laura Merrill.