July 25, 2017

From Around The UMC...

Input, articles, and material from our United Methodist leaders and Congregations

February 2017
A message from Bishop David Bard....

Annual Conference 2017   By Bruce and Beth Clark

We will be attending Annual Conference on June 1-4 in Traverse City, Michigan. We are very pleased to be your representatives.

Some of the issues we will be discussing and voting on include:

1. Witness for Nuclear Disarmament.

· Asking people of Detroit Annual Conference to pray for our President to work for peace.

· Asking United Methodist members to contact members of the US Senate to encourage them to support restricting first use of nuclear weapons.

2. Support the Commission on Way Forward  The Commission is working on resolving the issue of sexuality in the Church in a way that allows for compassion and unity.

3. Reaffirm Detroit Annual Conference for Liberia Pastor’s support   We have had a Covenant relationship with the Liberia Annual Conference since 1997. Pastors are asked to give half of 1% of their salary to the Liberia Conference to assist in pension and pay equity. Michigan churches are asked to match the pastor’s giving.

4. Resolution Regarding Rev. Michael Tupper Just Resolution  Detroit Annual Conference asks the Bishop and cabinet to educate the Annual Conference on goals and purposes of this resolution and to abide by our sacred vow to follow the Discipline until the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward for the church. See Number 2.

5. Establishment of North Country Cooperative Parish for the Communities North of the
I-10 Corridor   This provides for cooperation between multiple churches and Christian ministries to help underprivileged families.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact us by email at brc616@gmail.com, or contact Pastor Geri.

Marquette District United Methodist Women’s 2017 Spiritual Growth Retreat, “Created for Happiness,” is Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29, 2017 at the Comfort Inn in Manistique, Michigan.

Often, happiness tends to be associated with temporary life situations. As Christians, we know we can be happy in Christ beyond life’s circumstances. We’ll learn that the Biblical definition of happiness is often the same as blessing. When we surrender all our worries and everything else to God's will, and concentrate on our relationship with Christ, a relationship based on trust and obedience, we can feel blessed and happy. On Friday, registration will begin at 5:00 Eastern time; dinner at 6:00; and a session following. Contact the church office for a registration form at 774-2545.

 The Michigan Conferences of The United Methodist Church—Thursday, June 1 through Sunday, June 4, there will be the annual, state-wide meeting of Methodists in Traverse City to continue creating a New, Bold, and Vital New Conference, which will provide resources and be supportive, encouraging, and faithful with the local UM churches. Bruce and Beth Clark are the two from our church who have been chosen to vote on any legislation. Pastor Geri will be there, as well. Please be praying for the Conferences, the UM pastors, and the lay people who give of their time, gifts, and presence to participate in God’s work through us United Methodists in Michigan!

Day of Inspiration sponsored by the Marquette District of The United Methodist Church, October 7, 2017, 1 p.m.-5 p.m. EDST at Marquette Hope Connection Center and featuring Ray Buckley

Ray Buckley is the interim Director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study. Buckley has served The United Methodist Church as a staff member of The United Methodist Publishing House, Director of the Native People’s Communication Office (UMCom) for nine years, and Director of Connectional Ministries for the Alaska Missionary Conference.
Most recently Buckley wrote Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back and contributed to New Dawn in Beloved community. Also, he is the author/illustrator of five books: God’s Love is Like…, The Give-Away: A Christmas Story in the Native American Tradition, The Wing, Christmas Moccasins, and Dancing with Words: Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith.

He is also the author of Creator Sang a Welcoming Song, and Walking in These White Man Shoes, children and youth resources for the Women’s Division School of Missions. The Give-Away was selected to appear on the CBS Christmas Eve special, An American Christmas, produced by the National Council of Churches. His stories, poetry, and art have appeared in numerous journals, periodicals, books, and museums.


New United Methodist Conference News   Change is all around us. The United Methodist Church in Michigan is preparing to bring forth a New Thing—a united, single Conference to serve the whole state. Yes, this will involve disbanding the two existing conferences. That will be an ending, but not the end. The best of both Conferences is being melded into something new. The Michigan Conference will continue, in a new way, to serve God through the resources and support that it will provide to us…the local churches. Please pray for the Michigan Methodist Church during this time of change, pruning, and birthing…May God’s will be done in this and all things, as we seek to share God’s greatest gift and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Proposed Design Team Timeline
January 1, 2019, New Michigan Conference corporation entity and fiscal year begins.
Area Health Care Plan begins implementation.
July 1, 2018, Multiple implementations
· Treasurers’ staff fully transitioned to area center and operational in anticipation of
1/1/2019 changeover to MI Area financial books.
· New full cabinet begins (already implemented).
· New district alignments begin, along with
any district apportionment changes. (six- month allocations for 2018?).
· Changes of district superintendents for realigned districts.
· One Director of Connectional Ministries phases in, as is feasible.
· One “Clergy Excellence” program staff phases in, as is feasible.
· New program/exempt staff team begins (or 7/01/2019), as is feasible.
· Administrative assistant/non-exempt positions phase in, as is applicable.
June 2018
· Move into the newly-completed Area Ministry Center.
· Approve newly-incorporated Michigan Area.
· Joint Annual Conference session for final votes.
· Final structure, rules of order, business plan, organizational plan, 2019 budget, nominating report, etc.
April 15, 2018, Final legislation posted to website.
Fall 2017-Spring 2018 Design Team continues to work on and monitor the multiple details.
January 2018, Area Health Care Plan is determined.
Fall 2017 and Winter 2018, Determination of various director-level positions, who will begin 7/1/2018; Interviews for exempt staff positions.
Fall 2017, Listening/presentation sessions on final proposals.
Fall 2017, Conference Leadership Team in collaboration with Design Team and Conference Finance and Administration draft 2019 Area Budget.
Fall 2017, New staffing details and job descriptions made public (or later).
Summer 2017, Continued discussion of staffing models with existing staff and implications; staff feedback, individual conversations.
June 2017, 2017 Annual Conference at Grand Traverse Resort to take action on as many Design Team components as possible, including Area Healthcare (as allowed by law) and funding of the construction of the expansion/plan for Area Ministry Center.