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SEJ Women's Caucus endorses Rev. Dr. Connie Mitchell Shelton Episcopal Nominee


The United Methodist Southeastern Jurisdiction Clergy Women’s Caucus endorses the Rev. Dr. Connie Mitchell Shelton as their 2020 episcopal nominee. Rev. Dr. Shelton serves as East Jackson District Superintendent in the Mississippi Conference. Her spiritual gifts of shepherding, healing, and administration serve our denomination’s need for moving together into God’s preferred future.

Shelton said, “I am humbled by the endorsement as an episcopal nominee by the SEJ Clergy Women’s Caucus. I feel deeply compelled to help the local church through the ministry of the episcopal office to dream God’s dreams for their futures, practice spiritual formation and discernment, birth new spaces for people who don’t know Jesus’s love, form spiritual leaders, and value unity as a gift from the Spirit.”

As an ordained elder, Shelton served the rural church, urban church, small membership church, and large membership church. She served at Duke Divinity School as Field Education Director, walking alongside future pastors discerning their vocational call, pastoral identity, and urging them to pay attention to the invisible people in their field education placements. As Executive Director of The United Methodist Hour television and radio ministry, she preached to persons across all the divides and was continually surprised how the gospel meets people where they are. As Director of Connectional Ministries, she shepherded a new structure into MS to “form spiritual leaders, faith communities, and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world.” As District Superintendent, she walks alongside 74 churches discerning mission and ministry, setting expectations, and holding disciples accountable.

“The biggest challenge we face in our denomination is moving congregations from who they ‘have been’ to what God is dreaming for their futures,” Shelton said. “I value and respect the richness of gifts, strengths, and perspectives across the United Methodist Church and take seriously creating space for all.”

Rev. Kelly Clem, Chair of the SEJ Clergy Women’s Caucus, writes, “Connie received 95 votes as a ‘write in’ candidate for Bishop in 2016 without an endorsement.  It is our hope that in 2020, given the opportunity to walk through the entire process as a nominee, she will be elected. Her experience is vast and her gifts are needed during this important time in the life of the United Methodist Church.”