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Missional report: Progress report on our Journey Toward Vitality

In 2013, the Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church under the leadership of Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area, with the conference leadership began an intentional journey to become a more adaptive, more fruitful, more faithful expression of the kingdom of God. Four vision pathways have guided the journey: Developing missional leaders, Equipping missional congregations, Extending missional impact, and Generating missional resources. 

The progress that has been made on the Journey Toward Vitality was presented in the Missional Report at the 21st Session of the Dakotas Annuala Conference held in Rapid City, South Dakota June 5-7, 2014. 

The 2013 Missional Report is a brief glimpse of all that has been accomplished this past year. The reports represents the work of the conference to create vital congregations to live out the mission of The United Methodist Church, our church:  To Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for Transformation of the World

The Journey Toward Vitality was launched in 2013 as a strategic initiative that will help guide members of the Dakotas Annual Conferenceto accomplish a vision.  God’s preferred future for the Dakotas is Conference for every congregation to become a vital expression of the scriptural imperatives of:  cultivating spiritual vitality, reaching new people and healing a broken world

Four vision pathways have been identified to increase the capacity of all churches, clergy and laity throughout the Dakotas Conference.  Together these initiatives and the corresponding goals constitute the Dakotas Conference strategic plan.

  • The first vision pathway is Developing Missional Leaders.
  • The next vision pathway is Equipping Missional Congregations. 
  • The third vision pathway is Extending Missional Impact. 
  • The final vision pathway is Generating Missional Resources.  

First, Developing missional leaders.  For the past three years the Dakotas Conference has been hosting a Licensing and Ministry school to develop clergy leadership for our local congregations .  In the past year 32 people have began the process to become a licensed local pastor or a certified lay minister, 5 participants have been licensed and 8 people are scheduled to complete the process.

For the past few years the Conference has debated the best model for campus ministry.  This year four grants were distributed including North Dakota State University (Fargo Faith UMC), South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (United Campus Ministries and Rapid City South Maple UMC), and Black Hills State University (Spearfish UMC). 

8,000 campers participated this past year in the Dakotas Conference camping program, that is impressive!  Camping is leaving a spiritual legacy for many

Much has happended under the pathway Equpping Missional Congregations.  The conference has nurtured four new church starts that have been building and becoming vibrant, Embrace Church in Sioux Falls; Encounter in Watertown, Fusion in Mitchell, and The Gathering in Fargo. 

Eight churches are involved with the Missional Church Initiative (MCI) process-- Sioux Falls First UMC, Fargo First UMC, Watertown First UMC, Pierre First UMC, Huron First UMC, Celebration UMC, Spearfish UMC, and West Fargo Flame of Faith UMC. In future years, approximately five to eight additional congregations will join the process annually.

The third vision pathway, Extending Missional Impact has had exciting news and accomplishments, Mike Flowers has been named the Associate Director for Misisonal Impact. The Bakken Oil Rush Ministry was launched in Watford City and beyond.

The final vision pathway is Generating Missional Resources.  Specific accomplishments this past year include:

  • Pension rebates issued to churches
  • 3.7% increase in General Church Apportionments  from local churches.

The Missional Report is the conference report card.  It provides  a  brief picture of the progress on the Journey Toward Vitality.  Please share this report with members of your local church.   

Common Table Report from Dakotas UMC on Vimeo.


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000