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Plan for NCJ virtual session changes

Bishop Bard is NCJ President

On behalf of NCJ College of Bishops, President David Bard shares a new schedule for the North Central Jurisdictional Conference Nov, 10-11.

BISHOP DAVID BARD, NCJ College of Bishops, President
PAUL WHITE, NCJ Secretary

One month ago, the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops made the difficult decision to move from an in-person special session of the jurisdictional conference to a virtual gathering. In making that decision, we also decided to pare down our agenda to focus on three critical areas that either delegates have been telling us they would like to discuss, or we have identified as critical for the ongoing mission of The United Methodist Church in our jurisdiction: the work of dismantling racism, the future United Methodist Church, and the role and deployment of episcopal leadership within the jurisdiction.

The next question we needed to ask was whether or not we could organize and bring resources together to actually meet in virtual sessions.  The College worked with our NCJ Communicators network to develop a plan for meeting. The good news is that this will work. It has meant a revision in our initial schedule. 

We began looking at a three-day conference, meeting for half a day for each session. The schedule has changed.  We will be meeting for one and a half days, November 10 and 11.  Please reserve November 10 and 11 on your calendars. November 10 we begin at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time and end at 5:00 p.m. with the possibility of evening small group or delegation meetings. The November 11 session begins at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time and ends at 12:30 p.m.

Three working groups have been formed to create the content for each segment of the agenda. They have met to coordinate their efforts and determine an agenda. While work continues the agenda will flow as follows:

Wednesday, November 10

  • 9:00-9:30 a.m. Worship
  • 9:30-Noon Conversation on Dismantling Racism
    • There will be presentation and discussion interspersed in this segment
  • Noon- 1 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:00-2:20 p.m. Conversation on Episcopal Leadership 
    • A twenty-minute presentation will be followed by an hour discussion using guided questions. Delegates will meet in cross-delegation groups.
  • 2:20-2:35 p.m. Break
  • 2:35-5:00 p.m. Conversation on The Future United Methodist Church
    • This section will include presentations and breakout group discussions. The team planning this conversation expects feedback from the conversations will be used to form a document for consideration of the delegates at Thursday’s plenary session.

Thursday, November 11

  • 9:00-9:30 a.m. Worship
  • 9:30-10:00 a.m. Report from the previous days work
  • 10:00-12:15 Conversation and Action on any items proposed for vote
  • 12:30 p.m. Adjournment

We are grateful to the College of Bishops for the additional work being done in order to make this conference a reality. We are grateful to our conference communicators for their coordination of efforts. We thank other leaders in the jurisdiction for their work in planning.  We are grateful for the patience and prayers of each of the delegates as we work to put this conference together. The College of Bishops also wants to express its appreciation to Paul White, our NCJ secretary, for all his work for this special session.

Together let us pray that God’s Spirit will use this unique opportunity at this critical time to enhance the future of our ministry for Jesus Christ.