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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Now that you've completed the surveymonkey on redistricting, WDYT?

The Minnesota Annual Conference voted in early June to reduce by one district. While we may not have even considered that question if there wasn't some financial motivation behind it, sometimes finances help us think about what's important to us and why.

By this time you may have seen that there is a surveymonkey that you can take to give us feedback on reconfiguring districts. I hope you'll do that. But I want to engage us in a conversation, listening to each other as well as for me to listen to you on what matters in regards to the make-up of a district. This is the "essay" part of the feedback.

I'm interested in what you think is most important in a district:

Is it an identity?

The role of the district superintendent?

What's the role that the district plays for you and your church that no one or nothing else can play?

What are the essential considerations and values that you would want us to keep in mind in relation to the reconfiguration and reduction of districts?


Monday, June 18, 2007

Reaching New People

Thanks for your comments on the gospel imperatives. I encourage you to continue to talk with your churches about them.

However, this year we're focusing especially on reaching new people. What is it, in your estimation, that keeps us from being as effective as we might in that regard?

There seems to be at least two different angles on reaching new people.

1) Reaching the new people who actually walk in our doors. Last Sunday a new person to the community (long time United Methodist elsewhere) who had been church shopping for a couple of months woke up and prayed, "Dear God, please let someone talk to me when I go to church this morning." We obviously have some work to do, given this person's 5-6 weeks of church shopping in United Methodist churches in Minnesota.

What keeps us from reaching new people who actually walk through our doors?

2) Reaching the new people who live in our communities. What keeps us from identifying a community of people--a specific age or ethnic group--and effectively including them in the life of our church (through worship or other outreach)?


Bishop Sally