North Central Jurisdiction Gathering

North Central Jurisdiction Gathering

January 02, 2020

From:  Iowa UM Delegation 2020 website
The North Central Jurisdiction’s Mission Council brought together General and Jurisdictional conference delegates to hear from various agencies and to talk together about where we as a jurisdiction moving into 2020.

Iowa’s Ryan Russell is the chair for the Mission Council and Lanette Plambeck was part of the planning team for the gathering. She helped to organize and preached at the closing worship for the event, with other Iowans part of the communion serving team.

Presentations included:

  • The Jurisdictional Study Committee shared the possibility that we might have a reduction of one bishop in 2020.
  • General Commission on the Status and Role of Women talked about their new legislation on sexual ethics, leadership accountability, and sexual misconduct.  They shared the good news that we have finally passed a constitutional amendment that sees men and women as equal, but still have work to do on a constitutional amendment to add gender to the list of those with protected status.
  • General Board of Church and Society shared information about the proposed Global Social Principles
  • Wespath shared about the shifting demographics, uncertainty, their new proposal for retirement plans, and the many contingency plans they are working through.
  • We had a presentation from the Connectional Table on the U.S. as a Regional Conference which will move the U.S. church from a parent to a sibling relationship with our global central conferences.
  • We had a brief update on the delayed work of the Global Book of Discipline, which will not be coming to 2020 as legislation.

Through small group discussions and open conversations delegates also crafted a statement that was released.  It reads as follows:

Gathering on November 8 and 9, 2019, in a crucial moment in the life of The United Methodist Church, we, 140 members present and voting from the North Central Jurisdiction’s Annual Conference delegations and the North Central Jurisdiction’s Mission Council, through honest, prayerful dialogue, discerned the following:

  • We as NCJ delegations acknowledge and apologize for the harm that is being done and the escalation of potential harm that will begin January 1, 2020. We repent of the ways we have abused our privilege and the ways that it has harmed the marginalized.
  • We witness the Holy Spirit moving in our midst. We witness God’s seeking, saving, healing and liberating grace at work in our communities. We renew our commitment to follow the Spirit’s leading and joining in God’s gracious work.
  • We believe that God is not finished with the people called United Methodist. We renew our commitment to lead our conferences, congregations and ministry settings in “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” in just, compassionate, creative, equitable and innovative ways.
  • We call NCJ laity, clergy, Annual Conferences and bishops to covenant to a moratorium on complaints, charges and trials related to officiating same gendered weddings and LGBTQIA+ identity and credentialing.
  • We call laity, clergy, Annual Conferences, Boards of Ordained Ministry and bishops to covenant for greater freedom and diversity for ministry with LGBTQIA+ people.
  • We will hold accountable and support laity, clergy, Annual Conferences and bishops in these commitments and calls.
  • When we gather for the 2020 NCJ Conference, we desire to elect bishops who will join us in these commitments and calls.

ADOPTED November 9, 2019
80% support, 18% does not support, 2% abstain

Next Delegation Meeting: January 11

In January, our Iowa delegation will gather for two reasons:  we will hear updates on what proposed legislation is available (the Advanced Daily Christian Advocate – with hundreds of pages of legislation may not be available until mid-February) and will spend time in conversation with potential episcopal candidates.

From October – November, we requested nominations from the Iowa Annual Conference and have two nominees who have submitted materials to the delegation. Delegates are now reading through their materials and are using our discernment guidelines to evaluate potential candidates. There are five areas of evaluation of leadership: spiritual, transformational, administrative, adaptive, and connectional. When the delegation evaluations are compiled, if a candidate scores in at least the “adequate” range, we will invite them for an interview at this January meeting.

These interviews will help us determine if the Iowa Delegation would like to endorse any candidate and if we are willing to offer their name for endorsement to the Annual Conference as well.