Bishop Tuell to Head Council

United Methodist Bishop Jack M. Tuell of Los Angeles on Friday will begin a one-year term as president of his denomination's Council of Bishops, the closest post to presiding bishop that United Methodists have.

Forty-nine active U.S. bishops and 17 overseas bishops--plus about 50 non-voting, retired bishops--make up the Council of Bishops, which meets twice a year.

Tuell will succeed San Antonio, Tex., Bishop Ernest T. Dixon Jr. at the close of the four-day spring meeting of the council next week in Raleigh, N.C. Bishops at the meeting will receive first copies of the United Methodist Hymnal, a revised edition that sparked controversy between 1985 and 1987 over whether some old favorites were sexist, racist or militaristic.

Compromises were hammered out for its approval last year, and officials say nearly 3 million advance orders have been received and that the books will be shipped to local churches beginning May 30.

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