In 2014, we Wisconsin United Methodists are "sowing the seed" as we continue our theme of Live the Fruit of the Spirit. Your experience at our Annual Conference will include worship and preaching, an excellent Bible study with Dr. Reistroffer, inspiration and instruction from Jim Griffith, and celebrations of mission and ministry around the conference and the world. I, as your bishop, and many other leaders from Wisconsin and beyond are preparing for us to gather in June.
At last year's Annual Conference, I announced that a Task Force would be formed to prepare a plan for possible redistricting. The Task Force has completed the work and reported to the Cabinet. You will be voting on this Action Item at Annual Conference, which revamps our current 8 districts into 5 new districts and adds one additional district superintendent for a total of 5. We learned from the year-long study of our circuit ministry how important you think it is for our District Superintendents to build strong relationships with clergy and congregations. This plan addresses my desire to strengthen the mission and ministry of our Wisconsin Conference.
All of this is part of our focus to "Imagine Wisconsin Anew!" with ongoing efforts to transform our congregations into vital centers of spiritual growth, "sow the seeds" of new faith communities, develop relationships with new, young and diverse people, and engage communities and people with life giving opportunities.
I am also very glad to announce that Wisconsin is part of the Imagine No Malaria campaign. Our goal is to raise 1 million dollars for this life saving effort. At Annual Conference, you will hear more about this initiative, which is bringing hope for the children where death from malaria is a constant threat. Our denominational goal is to raise $75 million by 2015. Working together, I expect we will exceed our goal of one million dollars.
This year you will be electing Delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conferences that will be held in 2016. I offer my thanks to those who are willing to serve in this important work. I hope you will come prepared to make your selections in June.
There is much to do and many things to decide. I am excited about the future of the Wisconsin Conference and Imagining Wisconsin Anew! I hope you join me in joyful expectation for our Annual Conference in June. And, in the meantime, I will pray for you and ask you to pray for me. Click here to view Bishop's Pre-Conference Greeting.
Grace and Peace,
Hee Soo Jung, PhD
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).