Grand Traverse District

West Michigan Conference

United Methodist Church


Rev. Anita Hahn, District Superintendent

Feb 3
Grand Traverse District Leadership Council
Traverse City: Central UMC
3:00 p.m.

Feb 3
District Committee on Clergy/Laity Support & Development
Traverse City: Central UMC
12:30 p.m.

Feb 12
District Committee on Ministry
Traverse Bay UMC
9:00 a.m.

Mar 3
District Superintendency Committee
Traverse City: Christ UMC
6:00 p.m.

Apr 18-19
Spring Splash 2015
Traverse City Great Wolf Lodge


Listening Sessions: MARK DOYAL
Communication Director, Michigan Area

LANSING MI -- Last month, following more than two years of listening, Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey invited United Methodists in Michigan to join her on a journey. She asked members of the Detroit and West Michigan conferences to discern a new path for ministry in the state posing the question, "What new thing is God calling us to do in Michigan?"

Last week, a diverse mix of clergy and laity came together from across the Michigan Area to discern this question and others. They met in the newly constructed Assembly Room of the Area Center, an aptly appropriate space as they discussed what new visions and ministry might be created in Michigan. The outcome of the two-day conversation was an overwhelming agreement the time has come to discuss the possibility of creating a new conference in Michigan, building on the strongest elements of each ministry rather than attempting to merge the conferences.

Those gathered encouraged Bishop Deb to hold five listening events. The group also suggested a series of guiding questions to be asked during the listening sessions related to the discussion of forming a totally new conference in Michigan. Among the questions were:

What are the compelling reasons for creating a totally new conference in Michigan?
What are the compelling opportunities?
What may be gained?
What concerns need to be considered?
What are some anticipated outcomes?
How will we listen for the anticipated losses?
How will we use the years ahead to dream and vision?
The group affirmed Bishop Deb's commitment to a broad, open and transparent conversation about the creation of a new conference.

"These five events are open to any and all United Methodists who would like to enter into this dialogue about the creation of a new conference for the Michigan Area," commented Clergy Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Dr. Bill Dobbs. "Bishop Deb will come prepared to share her thinking around this possibility, but wants those attending to know that she really wants to hear from you; your concerns, your hopes, your dreams,"he concluded.

The five events are free and open to all United Methodists. To accommodate broader participation in the conversation, the January 12 event at Cornerstone Church in Grand Rapids will be webcast live. Visit

February 3, Tuesday at Northville UMC, 6:30 until 8:00 pm.

Area leaders are hoping members will participate in the listening sessions across the state. For a recap: or
email: with your questions or comments

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