During his State of the Church address, Bishop Jung said, "For well over three-hundred years, Christian believers following the principles of Methodism have gathered at least once a year. Being practical people of God, they call their gathering “Annual Conference.” Here we are in Middleton joining together for the 46th time as Wisconsin United Methodists, but our heritage goes much further into the past--back to the mid-19th century when the Oneida People were dislodged from their ancestor homeland in what we call New York, and made the difficult trip to the Wisconsin Territory where they re-established their Nation. Some who came were Episcopalian, some were Methodists, and some maintained the traditional belief system of their People.

"At about the same time, European immigrants were also arriving in the Wisconsin Territory in large numbers and some of them too were Methodists, and some were Evangelical Association and some were United Brethren in Christ. Since then, the Church has expanded to include people of many diverse nationalities, identities, and personalities. As I look around this gathering, I see people with African, Asian, European, and Native American heritage. I also acknowledge the wide variety of diversity that is not apparent by simply looking at a person from the outside. We are as diverse in our theology, political point of view, and gender as we are in our cultural or national heritage."

Click here to read Bishop Jung's full address.