By Diane Odeen and Dan Dick
It's All About the Boundaries
The UMC world-wide is divided into the “Central Conferences” (non-U.S.) and the five “Jurisdictional Conferences” in the United States. Wisconsin is in the North Central Jurisdictional (NCJ) Conference.
A Jurisdictional Conference is a collection of Annual Conferences. The NCJ includes the following Annual Conferences:
- Northern Illinois
- Illinois Great Rivers
- West Michigan
- East Ohio
- West Ohio
An "Episcopal area" may include more than one Annual Conference. For example, the Dakotas and Minnesota are multiple Conferences merged into a single Episcopal area with a single Bishop. The NCJ currently has nine Episcopal areas.
Electing New Bishops
Elections of new bishops will occur during the North Central Jurisdictional Conference, July 13 – 16, 2016, at the Peoria Civic Center in Peoria, Illinois. There are currently 17 candidates, including our Director of Connectional Ministries Sam Royappa.
Four of the currently serving bishops have announced their retirements following the 2016 NCJ Conference: Michael Coyner (Indiana), John Hopkins (East Ohio), Jonathan Keaton (Illinois Great Rivers) and Deborah Kiesey (Michigan). Therefore, there will be four new bishops elected to serve in the NCJ.
Following the election of new bishops, assignments will be made of all newly elected and continuing NCJ bishops to the nine episcopal areas across the Upper Midwest. Assignments will be effective September 1, 2016 for the following four years.