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Bishop’s Column: Getting to know Bishop Dan Schwerin

Posted: January 22 2023 at 01:10 PM
Bishop Dan

Bishop Schwerin

Here are 10 things that will help you get to know our new Bishop:

  1. Early Life - Bishop Schwerin was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He came from a family of farmers on one side and machinists on the other. He grew up playing ball, working hard, and fishing often.
  2. Family - Bishop Schwerin is married to Julie. He is the father of two, Rachel Schwerin Kuschewski and Andrew Schwerin, as well as four grandchildren. Dan and Julie love evening walks and labyrinths.
  3. Call to Ministry - He heard a call to ministry when he was seventeen at the Concord UMC, a few miles from where a Methodist circuit-rider in his family cast a shadow with his witness a lifetime before him. The call to ministry happened when a retired pastor preached on the body of Christ and how he had seen it work across fifty years of his ministry.
  4. Education - Bishop Schwerin holds a bachelor’s degree from Carroll University (1985), and a Master of Divinity (MDiv.) from Perkins School of Theology (1989). He received his first exposure to Bowen Family Systems Theory during the Perkins School of Theology Mentor Program (1992-1994).
  5. Ordination - While serving as a student pastor in the Oklahoma Conference, he was ordained as a deacon by Bishop John Wesley Hardt (1987). After beginning his service in the Wisconsin Conference, he was ordained as an elder by Bishop David Lawson (1991).
  6. Ordained Ministry - June 9th,1985, was Bishop Schwerin’s first Sunday in the pulpit, after having been appointed as a student pastor to Stephens United Methodist Church in Duncan, Oklahoma. Following seminary, in 1990, he was appointed to the Parfreyville UMC in Waupaca, Wisconsin. In 1996, he was appointed as the founding pastor of Still Waters United Methodist Church in Jackson, Wisconsin, where he stayed through the chartering of the congregation. He was appointed in Wisconsin as a District Superintendent of the Metro South District in 2002 and then appointed to serve both the Metro North and Metro South Districts from 2004-2007. Following his time as a District Superintendent, Bishop Schwerin was appointed to First UMC Waukesha, Wisconsin from 2007-2021. After the General Conference of 2019, Bishop Schwerin was asked by Bishop Jung to lead a collaborative effort with Wisconsin Conference partners for Bishop Jung’s vision to increase racial justice and radical inclusion. He was appointed as the Assistant to the Bishop in the Wisconsin Conference in 2021.
  7. General Conference Work - Bishop Schwerin was elected in 2019 as a delegate to General Conference and the North Central Jurisdiction. He has served on the General Conference Task Force on Funding Patterns in The United Methodist Church. Bishop Schwerin served as a member of the North Central Jurisdiction's Episcopacy Committee.
  8. Episcopal Mentors - Bishop Schwerin is blessed with episcopal mentors. He has learned from three bishops - two women and one Korean male. Bishop Sharon Rader (Retired) taught him that it takes courage to do God’s new thing. Sabbath-keeping and a life grounded in spiritual disciplines were learned from Bishop Linda Lee (Retired). Bishop Hee-Soo Jung (Wisconsin) has shown him the interdependent thinking required for the global church. Each mentor led with kindness in the face of challenge.
  9. Poetry - Bishop Schwerin starts each day with a psalm and Lectio Divina. He is a published poet and writes every morning. His debut poetry collection, ORS, from red moon press, won the Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Award in 2016.
  10.  Three decades in ministry have taught him - what we pay attention to grows. Pay attention to relationships, and relationships grow. Pay attention to healthy dynamics, and groups get healthy. Pay attention to vision, and vision grows. Over the years, he has paid attention to ministry—and has seen ministry grow. Bishop Schwerin has served on three cabinets and paid attention to how three pioneering bishops expanded the episcopal office. "We have a once-in-a-generation chance to pay attention to the identity of the United Methodist movement going forward."

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