Letter about World Church Leadership Transition (February 18th, 2016)

Archived Version

As announced previously, Stephen M. Jones was granted early retirement and release as
presiding bishop effective on a date to be specified during the 2016 World Conference.
Recently, Bishop Jones asked to move up the date for his early retirement and release to allow
him more time to support his wife, Jan, who is facing serious health issues. Therefore,
Brother Jones will retire and be released as Presiding Bishop on March 1, 2016. Keeping with
the direction given in my September 8, 2015, letter to the church about Steve’s future
ministry, and recognizing his vital role in current efforts to increase funds for mission, Steve
will continue to support mission funding efforts for a time before and after World

On March 1, 2016, Stassi Cramm, presiding bishop designate, will become acting presiding
bishop. Sister Cramm will be released from the office of apostle and reinstated to the office
of bishop, which she held previously. Then she will be appointed by me to serve as acting
presiding bishop. These steps clarify roles, responsibilities, and supervisory relationships as
important decisions are made about World Church budgets and related financial issues.
Stassi is fully prepared through education, skill, and experience to serve as acting presiding
bishop at this pivotal time.

The Presiding Bishopric is dissolved when the Presiding Bishop is released. As I have
prayerfully reflected on the needs of the church, the Holy Spirit confirmed it would be
beneficial if Steve Graffeo and Michele McGrath, Presiding Bishopric members designate,
provide support to the acting presiding bishop during this time. Therefore, of necessity, the
three of them will function as the Acting Presiding Bishopric until the 2016 World
Conference. The World Conference will formally consider all general officer calls, including
those related to the reconstitution of the Presiding Bishopric.

Let us remember Steve and Jan Jones and their family in our prayers as they navigate major
challenges related to Jan’s health and Steve’s sooner-than-expected, early retirement. May
they experience the blessings of compassionate, supportive community through all of us.

Also, let us sustain prayerfully those who are taking on more responsibilities sooner than
expected in response to the needs of the church. May they be blessed with our unwavering
support and confidence in them as we meet the challenges before us.

In the Peace of Christ,

Stephen M. Veazey
president of the church