Friday, May 22, 2015

Press Release: Connectional Table Shares Vision for Next Quadrennium

The Connectional Table

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2015

Nashville, Tennessee:  Meeting in Nashville, the Connectional Table voted to submit legislation to General Conference in May 2016 to examine how the church may better model worldwide connection through its Connectional Table membership. The proposed restructuring is part of the Connectional Table’s vision as it moves forward.

Currently, only 10 percent of the Connectional Table members reside outside the United States. The proposed restructuring, which may be potentially amended by 2020, would better represent the global membership of the denomination.

 “The Connectional Table is committed to more faithfully modeling our worldwide connection in our membership, ministry, and function,” said Ricky Harrison, Connectional Table member and Master of Divinity student at Duke University. “As we continue to move forward in our work of stewarding the mission, vision, and resources of the global church, we are committed to using the upcoming quadrennium to deeply consider how the structure, membership, and function of the Connectional Table might best facilitate this."

Centered on mission and values, the church body stated goals to build relationships that strengthen the denomination as part of the Body of Christ, cross bridges across the church, connect strategies for great impact on mission and connect the story to inspire transformation in Christ throughout the world.

The Connectional Table remains steadfast in its purpose to be a geographically representative and intergenerational body exemplifying the diversity of the worldwide connection, while guiding with a unique Wesleyan theology and enabling new things by fostering creativity and enhancing ministry at all levels of the church.

The church body also stated that it would work to build trust in three primary relationships:
  • Relationship to General Conference through partnership with Commission on General Conference
  • Relationship to Annual Conferences through partnerships with the Active Bishops and Directors of Connectional Ministries; and
  • Relationship to General Agencies.

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About the Connectional Table
The Connectional Table oversees the coordination of mission, ministries and resources across the denomination. Created at the 2004 General Conference, the Connectional Table was formed to serve as both the visioning body of the church and the steward of resources to carry out the vision of the denomination worldwide.

Contact: Diane Degnan
ddegnan@umcom.org
615-742-5406 (office)
615-483-1765 (cell)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Press Release: Council of Bishops affirms missional direction for next quadrennium

United Methodist Council of Bishops

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2015

Berlin: The Council of Bishops, meeting in Berlin, affirmed a vision for a missional direction for the next quadrennium which includes partnering with schools to help end poverty, starting new faith communities, building a culture of call, reaching children with life-saving interventions, and equipping congregations with disciple-making processes to continue making new disciples and increasing the number of vital congregations.

“Your leadership has led to great success and has changed the denomination in a positive way. We can measure the success, in part, through the growing number of vital congregations we see across the church,” said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, chairperson of the Connectional Table.

The new strategic direction would build on and extend the Four Areas of Focus adopted in 2008 and continue the focus on creating vital congregations, but is flexible enough to allow local churches and annual conferences to adapt it according to what works best in their areas. Goals would be developed by General Conference 2016 that would include measures to aid in tracking progress.

“Developing a strategy within the Four Areas of Focus and Vital Congregations will help measure, organize, and connect the agencies and the annual conferences towards a greater impact in each area of focus so that we can tell the story of our connection … we have nearly a decade worth of success stories that show what United Methodists working together combined with great leadership can achieve,” said Bishop Sally Dyck, chair of the Missional Collaboration Group on Vital Congregations and the Four Areas of Focus. 

“Recommitting to the strategic direction of the Four Areas of Focus and Vital Congregations in the next quadrennium will build on the important and fruitful ministry we have started," said Bishop John Schol, team leader for the Vital Congregations Operations Team along with Discipleship Ministries. “Embracing strategic direction and goals will align us for missional impact around the world.”

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About the Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops provides leadership and helps set the direction of the 12.8 million-member church and its mission throughout the world. The bishops are the top clergy leaders of The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.

Media contact:
Diane Degnan ddegnan@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (w) 615.483.1765 (c)

Monday, May 4, 2015

United Methodist Council of Bishops Press Release

United Methodist Council of Bishops
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2015

BERLIN: Meeting in Berlin today, the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church elected new officers who will assume their leadership roles in 2016.

The new officers of the Council are:

President – Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area
President designate – Bishop Kenneth H. Carter Jr., Florida Episcopal Area
Secretary - Bishop Cynthia Harvey, Louisiana Episcopal Area (re-elected for two years)
Connectional Table chairperson - Bishop Christian Alsted, Nordic and Baltic Episcopal Area
Executive secretary – Bishop Marcus Matthews, Washington Episcopal Area
Ecumenical officer – Bishop B. Michael Watson, North Georgia Episcopal area

The ecumenical officer, executive secretary and chair of the Connectional Table each serve four-year terms. The president, president-designate and secretary serve two-year terms, which begin on the third day of the General Conference. 

In accordance with the Council’s bylaws, an eight-member Leadership Discernment Committee of the Council (which is composed of one bishop from each U.S. jurisdiction and three Central Conference bishops) selected a slate of officers to present to the Council for election by a two-thirds majority. Nominations for secretary and ecumenical officer may also be presented from the floor.

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About the Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops provides leadership and helps set the direction of the 12.8 million-member church and its mission throughout the world. The bishops are the top clergy leaders of The United Methodist Church, the second largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.


Media contact:
Diane Degnan ddegnan@umcom.org
615.742.5406 (w)