What a marvelous and powerful time we spent together at Annual Conference this year! Truly a celebration and vision for our future were central. So amazing to see what God can do. From the wonderful news that we have achieved over $700,000 in our million dollar commitment to Imagine No Malaria, to the new possibilities given us by our new five-district structure, God is doing great things in the Wisconsin Annual Conference.
It was so good to hear Dr. Elaine Heath encourage us to “fail-forward,” to step out in faith unafraid and to try the new things that will make us more faithful and effective. Inspiring messages from Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe and Bishop Han Ku Kim from our sister Conference in Dongbu supported our vision for “Cultivating and Nurturing” a new, brighter, better Wisconsin Conference. Our service of Ordination and Commissioning deeply touched the hearts and souls of many, reminding us of the sacred and serious work that we do as beloved community.
And wasn’t the music phenomenal this year? Mark Miller and his band, Subject to Change, set a tone and energy for our entire Annual Conference. They did amazing leadership.
We are, together, living the fruit of the Spirit in so many ways. We are stretching and reaching to do more than we think that we are able. Imagine No Malaria has been a confirmation that we can go the second mile, digging deep to do good work around the globe. As we look to the future, and prepare for a capital campaign, we set our sights on our missional priorities of new church growth, “turnaround church” vitality for existing churches, and strong, vital mercy and justice ministries throughout the Conference.
I am excited and encouraged by new programs such as the Institute for Congregational Development, and I lift up to you the Apportionment Exploration Guide materials everyone received at Annual Conference. These are two examples of the “yes, we can” spirit moving in our Conference. And if you doubt that spirit is working, ask your Bishop Bobblehead, and see if he does not say “yes, yes!”
I give thanks to all the members of our Program and Arrangements Committee under the fine leadership of Susan Bresser for the excellent work they did organizing our Annual Conference this year, with special appreciation to Janet Hartzell and her worship team. To our own Conference staff, especially Angela Ullrich who coordinated arrangements and registration for everyone, job well done! To my Cabinet and the elected Conference leadership, both laity and clergy, I offer my sincerest appreciation. Together, we did honor and glorify God in oh so many ways. Blessings!
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).