Cabinet announces changes to charge/church conferences

July 21, 2015

Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar and the nine District Superintendents of the New England Conference are making some changes to the approach and processes for the annual charge/church conferences. The changes will take effect beginning with the fall 2015 conferences. Below is a statement from the Cabinet about the changes:
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 “pilot” – similar to practices being tried in many other conferences – seeks to share leadership within our districts, and will give District Superintendents more time and opportunity to relate in different ways with our local churches and pastors.  [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. 
District Superintendents will be spending time in local churches differently.  We still want to come and visit your churches to hear the dreams, visions, plans, and purposes of each church at least once a year.  This may be a time to share a meal and have a conversation, or be part of a mission focused congregational event, lead a cluster study, resource a local church need, preach on Sunday, hold open conversations, or have a time together to dream God’s dream for our ministries. 
We would like to hear your ideas and comments about how the district superintendents can support the congregation’s ministry and mission in the world.  Pastors and DSs will have one-on-one meetings to talk about this.  Anyone else can be in touch with your district superintendent with ideas and opportunities to worship, serve, and vision with you and your communities. 
If you have any questions at all about the fall church conferences, don’t hesitate to ask. 
Click the link to find contact information for each district