Bishop Details Changes in Conference Structure

May 28, 2009

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Resident Bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference, has sent a letter detailing the changes in Conference structure which he announced in his March 19, 2009 article, "Resetting Our Framework for Ministry."


The letter was sent to all lay and clergy who are serving a church, deacons in primary church appointments, lay members to Annual Conference Session, church lay leaders, and Church Staff Parish Committee chairs.


"Called to bring the good news of Christ to a needy world, we must rethink church for this time," the Bishop wrote. "Rethinking Church involves a passionate rededication to being church in the Wesleyan way," he said.


The first step in the process will involve some restructuring. As the Bishop explained, while each pastor and congregation in the Conference will still have a District Superintendent, after July 1 "the spirit and practice of connectional ministry will be emphasized through the [clergy] circuits," 40-50 of which will be established as the central place for ministry development.


The Bishop will appoint and assign clergy to both local churches and to circuits.


"Guided by circuit leaders, pastors will support, challenge and encourage each other within circuit meetings," the Bishop wrote. "Pastors will collaborate for ministry development, vision-sharing, and strategic discussion toward the making of disciples and extending Christ's service beyond the church.


"Superintendents will be freed to use their gifts and graces for leadership development across the Conference," he said.


The new structure has been further detailed on behalf of the Bishop and Cabinet by the Rev. Ted Virts, Dean of the Cabinet, in a document titled, "Equipping the Church for Ministry: Clergy Circuits."


Virts fleshes out the plan for 2009-2010, including areas of responsibility and the schedule for meetings within each organizational level.


"Spiritually based leadership development will be at the center of our evolving work and changing roles," he writes. "We will grow into the new direction through prayerful focus, humble listening, gracious forgiveness, and focused discipleship."


Read Bishop Brown's letter here.


Download Circuits list here.