In March, Bishop Lanette Plambeck traveled across the Dakotas for gatherings to meet people, worship, pray, and share her story.
"It is good to get to know the people and the culture. There is North Dakota culture. There is South Dakota culture. There is an east river. There is a west river. There is a lot to learn," said Plambeck.
There is one region of the Dakotas that the bishop has yet to explore, the Northeast District. The weather delayed two gatherings in Fargo, North Dakota, and Watertown, South Dakota.
She began her journey as resident bishop for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church on January 1, 2023.
“I want to be where our people are, hear their hopes and dreams for our conference, and see the places they live, love, and worship,” said Bishop Lanette.
United Methodists in the Dakotas are invited to come to meet Bishop Lanette, hear some of her story, worship together, enjoy warm hospitality and good conversation, and leave with a renewed sense of hope for the future.
“There is a misperception that ‘the conference’ is a building and certain staff positions,” said Bishop Lanette. “The truth is every single United Methodist lay person and clergy, including those in extension ministry, are the Dakotas Annual Conference. I’m getting out to meet the conference. In order to lead a people, you need to know the people...I'm excited to be in the places where the United Methodist Church is engaged across the states—sharing and showing the love of Jesus.”
Bishop Lanette will greet people and engage in conversation on August 13, 2023. She plans to preach at Faith United Methodist Church, 909 19th Avenue North, Fargo, North Dakota, during worship at 10 a.m. followed by a potluck at 11:15 a.m., and a time for conversations and questions at 12:15 p.m.
On that same day, Bishop Lanette will meet people at First United Methodist Church, 4 Second Avenue Southeast, Watertown, South Dakota, for a potluck meal starting at 5:30 p.m. The meal will be followed by conversation and a time for questions at 6:15 p.m.
The upcoming gatherings will include a time for Bishop Lanette to share about herself and to answer questions from attendees. What does she most want Dakotas United Methodists to know?
“I want people to know that I love Jesus and the United Methodist Church,” she said. “I want to assure them I am committed to leading in a way where all are welcome and wanted. I want United Methodists throughout the Dakotas to see how my life and leadership are deeply rooted in the Wesleyan Way. I also want to listen deeply for their hurts, pains, and celebrations and to hear how we are growing as disciples of Jesus and transforming the world.”