Fall 2015 Church Conferences
Bishop Devadhar and the District Superintendents have been re-thinking our charge conference/church conference experiences. There has been much conversation and discernment about how best to have our district superintendents relate meaningfully with our local churches. The Strategic Plan process (that the New England Conference considered in 2014) had considerable feedback about the way we have been accomplishing annual church conferences and the role of our district superintendents.
In 2014, most of our New England churches used a worshipful work format by Marcia McFee – to widespread affirmation. This way of being in holy conference and in local church conferencing will be in evidence once again in 2015 as our gatherings are framed by the worship service that Marcia has written.
Also this year, many of the church conferences will be led by elders within our districts, active and retired.
This “experiment” – similar to practices being tried in many other conferences – seeks to share leadership within our districts as our stories of ministry and mission are shared among our churches. [We are counting on your feedback as we see what shape this practice will take beyond 2015.] The District Superintendents will still be meeting with each local SPRC on a different schedule, but many of the church conferences themselves will be facilitated by others.
That leads to the part about the DS spending time in local churches differently. In our conversation as a Cabinet, we still want to come and visit the churches to hear the dreams, visions, plans, and purposes of each church at least once a year. It might be sharing a meal and having a conversation, or being a part of a mission focused congregational event, leading a cluster study, resourcing a local church need, preaching on Sunday, holding open conversations, or a time together to dream God’s dream for our ministries.
We would like your ideas and comments about how the district superintendents can support the congregation’s ministry and mission in the world. Please be in touch with your district superintendent with ideas and opportunities to worship, serve, and vision with you and your communities. Also, if you have any questions about the fall church conferences, don’t hesitate to ask.