A Day of New Beginnings

September 02, 2010

Four new districts came into being on September 1, 2010 – their day of birth following one of transition, in which two district offices closed their doors.

At Annual Conference Session in June, members approved a resolution sponsored by the Cabinet and Conference Committee on District Superintendency to reduce the number of districts within the California-Nevada Annual Conference from seven to four. The bishop, in accordance with The Book of Discipline (Paragraph 415.4), then drew district lines, establishing the Bridges, Central Valley, El Camino Real, and Great Northern Districts, effective September 1.
The Rev. Benoni Silva-Netto's retirement left the Revs. Renae Extrum-Fernandez, Mariellen Yoshino, Kristie Olah, and Jerry Smith as remaining district superintendents. They were assigned by Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.: Extrum-Fernandez, to the Bridges District; Yoshino, to the Central Valley District; Olah, to the El Camino Real District; and Smith, to the Great Northern District.
A Districts Administration Center was established in the United Methodist Center, 1276 Halyard Drive in West Sacramento, where most Conference offices are located (the exception is the Board of Pensions office, housed in Oakland), and a graduated schedule was put into place for closure of the outlying district offices.
The Districts Administration Center is the new point of contact for all four district superintendents – by phone at 916.374.1501, by fax at 916.372.5527, and by mail at P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798.  
Mahsa Farahani and Jason Stubbs began work September 1 as administrative assistants for the Districts Administration Center.
Time to remember and move on
The last day of operation for the former Nevada-Sierra District office in Reno, Nevada was August 30 and for the former Shasta District office in Chico, California, August 31.
Great Northern Superintendent Jerry Smith said there was a sense of excitement, of new opportunities and new directions, coupled with a sense of loss and even grief at the passing of an era.
"It's such a mixed bag," he said.
"Both districts had a strong presence here in the Conference. They were known for the way they collaborated and worked together to provide ministry. I'm really looking forward to this new chapter and wondering how things are going to play out."
The grief at the passing of an era was intensified by the necessity to say good-bye to Audrey Phelps and Janis Chisholm, administrative assistants for Nevada-Sierra and Shasta districts, respectively (although each will continue to assist in the transition to the new districts). Smith and Conference Treasurer Diane Knudsen traveled to both locations to bid farewell.
In Chico, the event was marked with a brief service. Both Silva-Netto and Smith, who shared responsibility for the district in its final year, were on hand, along with District Lay Leader David Haynes and others.
The former Bay View District office, now serving the Bridges District, will remain open at its Berkeley location through the end of this year with Ivania Miranda as administrative assistant. The former Golden Gate District office in San Francisco no longer is attached to a district – however, administrative assistant Bruce Pettit will continue to staff it through the end of this year, assisting in the conversion of files.
The former Fresno District office, now serving the Central Valley District, will remain open at its Fresno location through June 30, 2011 with Mariah Allred as administrative assistant. The former San Jose District office, now serving the El Camino Real District, will remain open at its San Jose office through June 30, 2011 as well, with Pam McKee as administrative assistant.
Locating information about districts on the Conference website
Districts information falls within the "Directories" category on the Conference website. "Directories" is the fourth item under "Quick Links" on the right side of the Home Page at cnumc.org – sandwiched between "Appointments" and "Looking for a church?"
Clicking on "Directories" will bring up the list of all website directories, including "Districts." Clicking on the "Districts" link will open the Districts Home Page.
The Districts Home Page has contact information for the Districts Administration Center, along with links to individual sites for the four districts. 
Other information about districts and circuits can be found by clicking on "Circuits & Districts," also under "Quick Links" on the Conference Home Page – the second item with blue text, below the red-text listings.  
"This is a day of new beginnings/time to remember and move on/time to believe what love is bringing/laying to rest the pain that's gone."
("This Is a Day of New Beginnings," The United Methodist Hymnal, #383, Words by Brian Wren, © 1983, 1987 Hope Publishing Co.)