We are pleased to announce that Bishop Ough will serve the Dakotas-Minnesota Area through December 2020.
Bishop Ough says, “Serving the Dakotas-Minnesota Area over the past eight years has been a joy and a privilege, and despite the unfortunate circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent postponement of General and Jurisdictional Conferences, I’m delighted for the opportunity to journey with Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodists for the remainder of 2020. Together, we have accomplished much for the kingdom as we have embraced Jesus’ call to grow in love of God and neighbor, reach new people, and heal a broken world. I thank God for the congregations, clergy, and laity across our Area.”
Bishop David Bard, president of the College of Bishops for The North Central Central Jurisdiction released this statement announcing the process for episcopal oversight through 2021.
Yesterday, two announcements were made regarding significant events in The United Methodist Church. The Commission on the General Conference announced the postponed 2020 General Conference will be held August 29-September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, MN.
The Council of Bishops followed that with the announcement that the postponed jurisdictional conferences in the United States will be held November 10-12, 2021.
Rev. Paul R. White, who serves as secretary for the North Central Jurisdictioanl Conference, sent an announcement to delegates in the North Central Jurisdiction stating, the NCJ Conference will be held November 10-12 2020 in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the he Fort Wayne Convention Center.
Today, each of the jurisdictions in the United States is announcing their plans for providing episcopal leadership for the period September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, insofar as those plans have been finalized. The Council of Bishops have approved these plans.
For the North Central Jurisdiction, phase one of our plan has been approved by the Council of Bishops.
Phase One – Episcopal oversight for the remainder of 2020:
· Bishop Sally Dyck, Northern Illinois Conference, will change her retirement date to make it effective January 1, 2021. She will serve as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference through 2020. Bishop Dyck’s retirement will be a vocational retirement (¶408.2b) as she will become the Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops.
· Bishop Bruce Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area, will change his retirement date to make it effective January 1, 2021. He will serve as bishop of the Dakotas/Minnesota Area through 2020. Bishop Ough’s retirement will be a vocational retirement (¶408.2b) as he will become the Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops.
Phase Two Episcopal Oversight for 2021 (process and deadlines):
· The bishops of the jurisdiction will continue to work together on a plan to provide episcopal oversight for both the above-mentioned areas for 2021.
· We will consult with our jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy and area Committees on the Episcopacy on both this short-term plan (2021), as well as a mid-term plan for the remainder of the quadrennium, and a longer-term plan, post-2024. We continue in a spirit of discernment, weighing various possibilities and asking missional questions.
· In preparation for what was to be the 2020-2024 quadrennium, our jurisdiction had established an Episcopal Leadership Task Force comprised of persons from the college, the Committee on the Episcopacy, and our jurisdictional Mission Council. The primary impetus for this task force was a joint recommendation of the College of Bishops and the Committee on the Episcopacy to the jurisdiction that we move from nine to eight active bishops for the 2020-2024 quadrennium. This task force will continue to do its work, now focusing on the period 2022-2024.
We will have a plan for episcopal leadership for 2021 to propose to the Council of Bishops for their vote no later than June 30, 2020, for a public announcement to follow.
Bishop David A. Bard
President of the NCJ College of Bishops