July 1, 2021
To: The Elected Delegates of the North Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church
From: The North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops
On the matter of a special session of the North Central Jurisdiction
In accordance with ¶521.1 and ¶521.3 of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops will convene a special session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference November 11-13, 2021 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We expect the conference to begin on Thursday morning and conclude by noon on Saturday.
In accordance with ¶521.3 “the delegates to a special session of the jurisdictional conference shall be the delegates last elected by each annual conference.” The delegates to this special session will be those who were elected to attend the regular session of the jurisdictional conference scheduled for 2020 but now postponed to 2022.
The College of Bishops is calling this special session of the jurisdictional conference for the following purposes:
- To worship and pray together;
- To hold a memorial service remembering those bishops and bishops’ spouses who have died since our last session of the jurisdictional conference;
- To celebrate the retirements of Bishop Bruce Ough and Bishop Sally Dyck;
- To receive an episcopal address;
- To receive reports on work being done in our jurisdiction and annual conferences on dismantling racism and to consider how we might further this essential work in our jurisdiction and its annual conferences;
- To utilize the processes being developed by the Connectional Table and other denominational leaders, including jurisdictional leaders, to discuss the future of The United Methodist Church, such discussion could include the development of a covenant for living together as The United Methodist Church in the coming months, regionalization in the future of The United Methodist Church, the future of jurisdictions in The United Methodist Church, and the future work of the North Central Jurisdiction;
- To receive reports from the NCJ Committee on the Episcopacy, the NCJ Episcopal Leadership Task Force and other appropriate persons on the future shape of episcopal leadership including episcopal areas, and to engage in a conversation about the future deployment of bishops and the role of bishops in The United Methodist Church.
In accordance with ¶521.4, “a called session of the jurisdictional conference cannot transact any other business than that indicated in the call.” The jurisdictional conference will not be organized so as to receive petitions submitted in advance. Resolutions may develop from the work done in the specified conversations convened during the special session. Any petitions or resolutions proposed during the special session will be voted upon in accordance with the rules of procedure of the North Central Jurisdiction and Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised 12th Edition.
In calling this special session of the North Central Jurisdictional Conference the College of Bishops hopes that we might engage in robust, thoughtful, grace-filled and prayerful conversations about our denomination and its future.
Grace and Peace,
Bishop David A. Bard
On Behalf of the NCJ College of Bishops