A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify,
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill:
Oh, may it all my pow’rs engage
To do my Master’s will!
Dear Clergy and Lay Members of Dakotas United Methodist Churches,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Daily, I spend my early mornings in prayer and personal retreat as part of my spiritual practice. I dedicate a portion of my time for deep listening to the Holy Spirit as I discern our best way forward as I lead as your temporal and spiritual shepherd. Charles Wesley’s hymn, A Charge to Keep Have I, has been on my mind as I pray about my charge as your bishop to provide administrative oversight and vision for the conference even as I guard the faith, order, liturgy, doctrine, discipline, and unity of the Church.
To that end, after consultation with the Dakotas Appointive Cabinet, I am asking us to gather in accordance with our standing rules ¶ 603.5 of the Book of Discipline; I hereby call for a special session of the Dakotas Annual Conference for August 15, 2023, beginning at 7:00 p.m. central time and 6:00 p.m. mountain time. This will be the final called conference for disaffiliation in 2023.
The timing of this session will allow all churches as well as our annual conference to fully turn our focus to the launch of mission and ministry in the fall as well as allow the appointive cabinet to care for any pastors and/or churches whose appointments will be affected by church votes.
This special session will be conducted as a virtual session. The agenda will include one business item: consideration of resolutions ratifying the disaffiliation of local churches from the United Methodist Church per the provisions of ¶ 2553.
Registration will open for the special session by June 30, 2023. Further information regarding the session and its business will be sent to members of the Annual Conference after Annual Conference in June to make sure the agenda and purpose of these gatherings are clear.
I invite you to join me in prayer for all who currently call The United Methodist Church home. I want you to know I am committed to leading in the episcopal area where all who want a home now and in the future United Methodist Church will have a home. I do not believe that our convictions need to lead to disaffiliation; in fact, I deeply believe in Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, where he reminds us all that love and unity are to be our witness in the world (John 17).
Bishop Lanette L. Plambeck
The United Methodist Chruch