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Bishop Easterling mourns the death of Bishop Arichea

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Bishop Daniel C. Arichea, Jr., a retired bishop of The United Methodist Church, died today, June 1. He was elected bishop in the Philippines Central Conference in November 1994. 

His wife, Ruth, announced his death on Facebook. "At 12:41 this afternoon, June 1, 2021, God opened the gates of the mansion He has so lovingly prepared for his dearly beloved son & faithful servant, Daniel C. Arichea Jr. From his birth on March 9, 1934, he has run the race, fought the good fight, and kept the faith. His children, faith children, friends, and kin, rejoice for the bells of heaven are ringing joyfully! He is now home! Thanks be to God!" 

United Methodists across the connection mourned his death, including Bishop LaTrelle Easterling of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. 

“Whenever a bishop transitions from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant, it is a bittersweet moment in the lives of those who loved them. We grieve their absence while also celebrating the miracle of eternal life through Jesus Christ,” said Bishop Easterling. “This is especially true with Bishop Arichea, who will be missed in our church and around the world.” 

Bishop Arichea was “a man of wisdom and grace,” Bishop Easterling said. “He possessed the courage of his convictions and a heart for God that called him to serve all of God’s people. He was a man of abiding faith and deep hope.” 

Council of Bishops President, Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, described Bishop Arichea as a courageous voice for justice for all of God's children, especially LGBTQ persons. 

"Bishop Arichea was a mentor, a visionary, and an encourager to many bishops, colleagues, and laity.  He had a heart for mercy and justice and stood for what was right often when it was not popular," Bishop Harvey said. "Bishop Arichea leaves a void in the Council of Bishops and in the greater United Methodist Church. He indeed fought the good fight and ran the race with perseverance and grace.  The only thing that could be added is, 'well done good and faithful servant, well done.'" 

Bishop Arichea was born in San Narciso, Zambales, Philippines, to Daniel Arichea Sr. and Tarsila Castillo, both public school teachers. The schools he attended include the University of the Philippines (pre-law), Union Theological Seminary (Bachelor of Theology, magna cum laude,), and Duke University (M.R.E. and Ph.D. in Biblical Studies). He also studied linguistics at Ohio State University and was a visiting scholar at Princeton Theological Seminary.  

He served churches in Bataan and Manila before joining the faculty of Union Theological Seminary, teaching New Testament. He later joined the United Bible Societies as a translation consultant, and served in that capacity in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In 1987 he moved to Hong Kong, SAR, P.R. of China, to assume the office of Regional Transition Coordinator for the Asia-Pacific Region, a position which he held until his election to the Episcopacy (in absentia) in November 1994. 

In addition to his wife Ruth, he is survived by three children, Miriam, Stephen, and Michael; and grandchildren: Joshua Thomas, Arielle Marie, and Daniel Benjamin.