Creating A New Michigan Conference

Well, it’s about to begin! I’m writing from Traverse City where we are preparing for Annual Conference. Close to 2000 United Methodist’s from across Michigan will gather to take significant steps on the road to becoming the Michigan Conference.

The Design Team has worked for almost two years now and is bringing nearly two hundred pages of legislation to the Conference. The legislation creates a structure built around the mission of the new Annual Conference to empower Christ Centered Mission and Ministry – Bold Effective Leaders and – Vibrant Congregations. The legislation continues the technical and sometimes legal work of bringing together the present two Conferences into the one new Conference. The Legislation enables us to move into this next year poised to take the steps necessary to be ready for the new thing God is doing in Michigan.

I am excited about this week. I am excited about the worship we will participate in together. I’m excited about the opportunities we will have to learn new things that will help us in our ministries. I’m excited about the opportunity this Conference will provide to meet more new friends from the other side of the state. I’m excited because in the midst of questions and the constant uncertainty of the future, we are seeking to do a new thing.

May God continue to guide and empower our efforts.

Peace,
Bill

2017 Michigan Area Annual Conference
Michigan Area Design Team

Act of Repentance Toward Reconciliation with Native and Indigenous People

As we gather for Annual Conference this year, one of the things we will be doing is taking some time to share together in an Act of Repentance Toward Reconciliation with Native and Indigenous People.  As most of us are aware, the history of violence and oppression perpetrated upon Native and Indigenous people is a sad and tragic one and one that continues in too many ways even into this current moment.

As I have read through the material that has been made available to all of us, in preparation for this event at Annual Conference, I have been struck again by the need for repentance and a fresh step towards action and reconciliation.

So, what I am going to do here today is give you the link to this information on the 2016 Michigan UMC Annual Conference website and cut my Castings piece short.

I trust you will take the time to read through this material as we all prepare our hearts and minds for this important first step at Annual Conference.

http://2016.michiganumc.org/programs/first-steps-native-americans/

Peace,
Bill