Mission was foremost in mind as Bishop David Bard formed 9 new districts.
On Tuesday, November 21, Bishop David A. Bard shared full details — boundaries and lists of churches — profiling the nine new districts of The Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.
The Bishop noted, “Over the summer, I brought together an advisory group to help me with this task. We were guided first and foremost by the mission of the church–to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
He also reviewed the Vision of the new conference: “We envision a conference that is Christ-centered and connected: to engage in shared mission and ministry, to support bold and effective leaders, and to nurture vibrant congregations.” The bishop added that by reducing the number of districts by three, ministry shares may be redirected to provide staff, superintendents and leaders to fulfill that mission and vision.
The 2017 Annual Conference voted overwhelmingly to approve a plan to make the new Michigan Conference a nine-district structure. Bishop Bard and his task group were guided by missional and geographic affinity, number of churches and charges, and square mileage as they labored to determine boundaries. This map is the product of their careful deliberations.
Completing this important task takes Michigan United Methodists one step closer to the creation of nine new districts. In his letter to the Area, Bishop Bard explained that superintendents for the nine districts will be selected by the end of 2017. While they will begin their ministry July 1, 2018, they will convene district conferences in the spring to formally organize and name the districts. Locations of district offices will be selected through consultation of superintendents, district leadership and conference trustees.
Names for the new districts are still being sought. Contact your district superintendent with your suggestions.
“The new district boundaries represent our best prayerful thinking,” the bishop concluded. “If in the future, we need to make changes and adjustments to further our mission and vision, we can and will do that. In the meantime may we, by the grace and power of God, continue to move into the future.”
To view the full statement by Bishop Bard and to send the Bishop a comment, please click here.