From DS Jodie Flessner ~
Greetings as we prepare for this year’s round of fall conferences. My plan is to broaden the scope of our
time together as we continue to ease into a new normal. It is my prayer that you are finding ways to
enjoy a bit of summer – a time in which I hope you are also finding a change of pace; a time to reconnect
with family and friends … with yourself … with God; some time to relax and renew. As we gather this
fall, we will focus our time building off the August 18th District Clergy Gathering discussions.
We continue to face uncertainty in the life of our denomination and our local churches. Yet the call
continues to “Be the Church”: to make disciples of Jesus Christ; to transform the world. Whatever the
future brings we are called to move forward in faith.
As your District Superintendent building relationships between neighboring churches so that the
ministries of all churches are strengthened is a top priority. Please come to the HUB gatherings
prepared to share with other leaders in your HUB:
What evidence of the power of partnerships do you observe already at work in your area /
What action might you take to increase the power of partnerships: to increase support of each
other; to augment current ministries; to start or renew ministries? In other words – what could
we do better (or even do at all) by forming partnerships with area churches.
This email comes with dates and information for our time together as we head into the fall conference
The plan for 2022 is to hold geographical gatherings of 6 to 12 churches on Sunday afternoons for
Church Conferences (2016 Book of Discipline, paragraph 248, “Church Conferences” encourage broader
- One On One and SPRC meetings will be held in the weeks prior via ZOOM (or at a nearby
church due to lack of internet accessibility). Pastors are invited to attend the Staff-Pastor Parish
- All meetings will have a ZOOM online option for those who wish to/need to participate in this
way. I will need to know ahead of time who plans to attend via the online format.
Instructions will be sent in your reminder email; please look for this in the week prior to your
- Should conditions necessitate the suspension of in-person gatherings, Conferences will be
held via ZOOM as Charge Conferences (paragraph 246.2 of the 2016 Book if Discipline). This
will allow for more workable numbers via online formats. As we move into the 2022 Conference
season, I trust that you will include as broad of participation as possible in the decision making
in preparation for Church / Charge Conference.
Offerings at the Church Conference Gatherings will be taken at each HUB for a local Ministry decided
upon by consensus at the August 18 Clergy Meeting.
District Conference will be held late winter / early spring when we will have a better idea of the new
- Church Conference forms are online: https://michiganumc.org/resources/forms/
- Click HERE Hub Gathering Date/Time Schedule.
23 Let’s hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, because the one who made the
promises is reliable. 24 And let us consider each other carefully for the purpose of sparking love
and good deeds. 25 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have
gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day
drawing near. ~ Hebrews 10:23-25 (Common English Bible)