District Office Transitions

District Office Transitions

November 08, 2019

Friends in Christ, 
I give thanks to God for your faithful and effective ministries led by the Holy Spirit for the sake of Jesus Christ. You continue to find ways each day to share the love of God in Jesus Christ with your neighbors here and around the world encouraging growth in discipleship. 
By December 30th of this year, the physical office spaces that have been used for district superintendents and district administrative assistants will be closed. This transition is taking place to lower administrative costs that require Apportionment funding.
District Superintendents and District Administrative Assistants will continue to have their regular phone number and email addresses as well as access to all the technology to support you in your ongoing mission and ministry for the sake of Jesus Christ. This transition will include some new way of supporting you electronically. We invite your patience and your helpful comments as we continue to improve together.
We expect that the transition to the virtual offices for the district superintendents and district administrative assistants to happen around the first of December.
The virtual offices for the district superintendents will also be mobile offices. Bishop Laurie Haller expects the superintendents to make regular and frequent visits with clusters of pastors and churches on their districts so they may fulfill their role as district missional strategists. This will provide your district superintendent intentional time and effort to connect pastors and churches with each other for prayer, mutual support, encouragement, and sharing best practices for connective ministry. Please contact your superintendent directly for messages, questions, and setting up an appointment with her or him: 

Southwest District
Terra Amundson: 712-227-1126 | [email protected]

Northwest District
Ron Carlson: 712-227-1351 | [email protected]

South Central District
Moody Colorado: 641-328-5814 | [email protected]

Southeast District 
Doug Cue: 319-382-0621 | [email protected]

Central District
Heecheon Jeon: 515-974-8910 | [email protected]

East Central District
Kiboko Kiboko: 319-382-0072 | [email protected]

North Central District
Carol Kress: 515-297-8580 | [email protected]

Northeast District
Paul Wilcox: 319-382-0079 | [email protected] 

District administrative assistants are, as required by Federal Law, hourly employees. Traveling would unnecessarily restrict their work hours for administrative support of the districts. Their virtual office hours will be Monday through Thursday and average 10 hours per day. This will provide focused time for district administrative assistants to work together as a team to connect superintendents, pastors, and lay leadership for effective ministry. Please contact them with any messages, questions, or information that pertains to their work with you; and remember, they will be available by phone or email to assist with all of their pastors’ and churches’ needs.

Central District and South Central District                
Sue Booth: 515-207-8709 | [email protected]

Northwest District and Southwest District                
Judi Calhoon: 712-732-0812 | [email protected]

North Central District and Northeast District            
Alanna Warren: 515-832-2784 | [email protected]

East Central District and Southeast District               
Ann Zeal: 319-365-6273 | [email protected]
What does this mean for clergy, laity, churches, and the ministries of the districts? 

Much of what is happening now will continue with intended improvements:

  • District communications through calendars and websites; and
  • Support for charge/church conference profile records of clergy persons and churches.

These two functions make up most of the work of the district administrative assistants and are the major pieces of record keeping that directly affect appointment making, church revitalization, and starts of new communities of faith.  

Clergy and laity are key partners with your district administrative assistants to make sure that these records, along with pastoral evaluation forms, salary forms (Form I), and local church ministry plans are completed in full, accurate, and turned in on time with no delays. This, along with the face-to-face visits of district superintendents and the directors of new faith communities, clergy and leadership excellence, and congregational excellence, has the greatest potential to resource the mission and ministry of the local church in partnership with area United Methodist churches and their communities. 
There will be some changes to strengthen leadership. 

  • The annual church/charge conference forms will be reviewed and updated so that only the essential information for the success of the local church/charge and the pastor is required.
  • District committee chairpersons will need to be the primary connector for their district committee functions (such as meetings and reports) and for their relationship to their Conference committees, boards, and agencies. 
  • District chairpersons and/or the district committee secretaries will need, as you always have been expected, to send your committee minutes in a timely fashion following your meetings to your district administrative assistant for the district files.
  • We will be working with the appropriate boards and agencies to streamline the grant application process so that more of the information is shared directly between the granting agency and those applying for grants rather than going through the district administrative assistants.

Life, as well as the church as the body of Christ, is always full of transitions. Transitions can be seen as interruptions to cherished routines; yet, the simple and profound transition of the act of breathing is essential for our personal lives, like the transitional “breathing” that is prayer is essential for our lives in Christ, personally and as the church.
Jesus encouraged his followers and us with a ready way to transition in daily faith: Ask, Seek, and Knock (Matthew 7:7-12). Jesus taught us to be curious rather than curt, search rather than subvert, and knock to open the door of communication. 
I invite your comments and questions. Please email me at [email protected] or call at 515-974-8903. I am sure that there will be adjustments to what I have written in this note that will provide for more improvements and corrections. 
Thank you for your faithfulness to Jesus Christ and the mission and ministry we share.
Harlan Gillespie
Assistant to the Bishop for Administration and Connectional Ministries