Though the news is late, I just learned of the death of Bishop Ole E. Borgen on March 24, 2009. It was reported in this month's "First Friday Letter" of the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council. (You read the entire letter at by clicking here.)
Bishop Borgen was born in Norway, educated in the United States, and returned to become the Bishop's assistant in Sweden, later becoming the Geneva Secretary for the World Methodist Council. In 1970 he was elected Bishop of the Northern Europe Central Conference of the United Methodist Church, a position he held for 19 years before retiring in 1979. While an active Bishop, he was elected the first non-American President of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church. A collector of Wesley literature, his private collections are now accessible in Tallinn, Estonia and Oslo, Norway. His life and ministry helped to shape the direction of the Church and of the World Methodist Council.
Of great significance to the readers of this blog, and the reason that the Bishop's death caught my eye, is the fact that he is the author of John Wesley on the Sacraments: A Definitive Study of John Wesley's Theology of Worship. - This book has been a huge gift to those of us who claim the Wesleyan sacramental tradition. The Bishop's book was recommended to me by my seminary professor of theology, the Rev'd. Dr. Rob L. Staples, whose own book, Outward Sign and Inward Grace: The Place of Sacraments in Wesleyan Spirituality is one of my absolute favorite books and an absolute must read for Nazarene clergy and other clergy in the larger Wesleyan tradition. (Staple's book is the only theology of the sacraments written from within the Wesleyan-holiness wing of the larger Methodist tradition.)
We have been enriched by Bishop Borgen, and for that we give thanks to God!