By Arthur McClanahan
The 2012 North Central Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church was held July 18-20 at the John S. Knight Center in Akron, Ohio. On behalf of the East Ohio Annual (regional) Conference, Bishop John Hopkins welcomed some 300 delegates representing the 11 annual conferences of the region.
Delegates heard from members of the transition team tasked with creating the new Dakotas/Minnesota Episcopal Area. Cindy Gregoroson and Jodi Cataldo reported on the video conferencing and other technology that will connect the geographically widespread area. The jurisdiction included a $125,000 grant to the new area in the budget it adopted. The grant will support the use of technology. Bishop Bruce Ough will lead the new area.
The full list of 2013-16 assignments read by Maggie Jackson, chairperson of the Jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy, is:
- Dakotas/Minnesota Area (Dakotas and Minnesota annual <regional> conferences): Bishop Bruce Ough
- Michigan Area (Detroit and West Michigan annual conferences): Bishop Deborah Kiesey
- Ohio East Area (East Ohio Annual Conference): Bishop John Hopkins
- Illinois Area (Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference): Bishop Jonathan Keaton
- Indiana Area (Indiana Annual Conference): Bishop Michael Coyner
- Iowa Area (Iowa Conference): Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble
- Chicago Area (Northern Illinois Annual Conference): Bishop Sally Dyck
- Ohio West Area (West Ohio Annual Conference): Bishop Gregory Vaughn Palmer
- Wisconsin Area (Wisconsin Annual Conference): Bishop Hee-Soo Jung
Illinois Area Bishop Gregory Palmer and Ohio West Area Bishop Bruce Ough presented the episcopal address, a two-hour conversation that included the delegates in table discussions in addition to hearing the bishops’ perspectives. (Hear Palmer and Ough reflect on the address.)
Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble of the Iowa Area, Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton of the Michigan Area and retiring Bishop Linda Lee of the Wisconsin Area led the delegates in worship. The ministry of Lee, who will retire on Aug. 31, was celebrated in an event including reflections from retired Bishop Don Ott.
A 2013-2016 budget of $1,112,300 was approved. It reflects a 3.53% decrease from the previous four years.
The jurisdictional Black Methodists for Church Renewal hosted a forum to discuss the future of the jurisdiction during on the evening of April 18. Carolyn Johnson served as the convener.
Photos from the North Central Jurisdictional Conference are posted on the NCJ website: http://www.eocumc.com/ncj2012 and www.iaumc.org/galleries; audio is posted at: www.iaumc.org/audio in addition to news coverage available on websites of the jurisdiction’s annual conferences: Dakotas, Detroit, East Ohio, Illinois Great Rivers, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, West Michigan, West Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Rev. Arthur McClanahan is director of communications for the Iowa Annual Conference.