Bishop Karen Oliveto comes to the Mountain Sky Area after serving as senior pastor of the 12,000-member Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco for eight years. She is the first woman to be senior pastor at Glide, the fifth largest United Methodist congregation in the U.S. She is the first woman to serve as senior pastor in one of the denomination’s 100 largest U.S. congregations.

“My dream is that we live into beloved community. My dream is that we live boldly as the body of Christ. and love so fully, so completely, that the neighborhoods in which United Methodist Churches stand in are utterly transformed by the love that spills out of these communities,” Bishop Oliveto said in a pastoral letter to the members of the 400 churches she will serve.

The Mountain Sky Area covers all of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah and a small portion of Idaho. The two regional conferences that comprise the area, the Rocky Mountain Conference and the Yellowstone Conference, are in the process of creating a new annual conference under the name Mountain Sky.

Bishop Oliveto is the first openly lesbian bishop in The United Methodist Church. Her wife, Robin Ridenour, a nurse anesthetist, is a deaconess in The United Methodist Church.