August 2, 2022
Dear Clergy and Lay Members of Dakotas United Methodist Churches,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
We find ourselves in an in-between space which author and theologian Richard Rohr describes as "when we are betwixt and between, have left one room but not yet entered the next room, any hiatus between stages of life, stages of faith, jobs, loves or relationships." This space is the liminal space. Liminal comes from the Latin "limen," which means "on the threshold." A liminal space is a transitional space, where we are leaving something behind that feels comfortable and safe while not knowing what lies ahead, a space where we feel as if we are on the threshold between what is behind and what is in front.
We stand now in this liminal space. Let it be a holy space where we discern the threshold of God's presence. Therefore, I am asking us to gather in accordance with our standing rules and ¶603.5 of the Book of Discipline; I hereby call for a special session of the Dakotas Annual Conference on November 19, 2022, beginning at 9:30 a.m. central time and 8:30 a.m. mountain time.
The special session will be conducted in a hybrid conferencing format with four locations for participants at Legacy UMC in Bismarck, North Dakota, First United Methodist Church in Fargo, North Dakota, Canyon Lake United Methodist Church in Rapid City, South Dakota, and First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
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. Contact your district superintendent for more information about the disaffiliation process. Access the disaffiliation process for the Dakotas Conference.
Registration will open for the special session on September 19, 2022. Further information regarding the session and its business will be sent to members of the Annual Conference in the coming weeks.
It can be a holy space in which the Holy Spirit can bring about healing, transformation, and renewed clarity for the road ahead. Let us embrace the tension of the liminal experience. If we can appreciate the process of this holy space and allow God's Spirit to be at the center of our processing, this space can be a place of new experiences and amazing grace. It can be a safe space that gives God time to partner with us in helping us become our best selves.
With you in the work of Christ,
Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey
Bishoip Deborah Lieder Kiesey
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