RE-DISTRICTING FOR 2024
“So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation, everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”
- II Corinthians 5:17-18
Dear Beloved in Christ,
Hear the good news! God is always making all things new! All of this … new life, new perspectives, new opportunities, new direction, and a new future with hope … is from God!
We continue to make great progress in implementing the Re-Districting Plan, transitioning from 10 to four districts beginning January 1, 2024. The restructuring of the districts will re-direct more attention to the local church, provide greater stewardship, alignment, and flexibility of resources, generate more opportunity for creative ministries, strengthen the possibility for the revitalization of churches, and increase the efforts of starting fresh expressions and new faith communities.
Districts are an integral part of the East Ohio Conference structure and are made up of communities of people, laity and clergy, who work together regionally to share the Good News of the Gospel, to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, and to fulfill our shared mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”. Districts facilitate our collective witness and strengthen the connection with each other, with other churches, and with the communities in our mission fields.
The re-mapping of the four new districts of the East Ohio Conference was announced September 27 and an invitation was extended that day to submit potential names of the new districts, which were designated A, B, C, and D in the release. Thank you for your suggestions. After prayerful consideration and discussion with Cabinet, the names of the new districts are: West Plains (A), South Forest (B), Central Valley (C), and Northern Waters (D).
District superintendents will serve together in teams to facilitate ministry by working closer with our local churches offering spiritual leadership and oversight, clergy and congregational coaching, strategic ministry assessment and development, shared-learning opportunities, leadership and ministry resources, and district communications.
I announce the following appointments of the district superintendents as of January 1, 2024:
The task of remapping the districts, naming the districts, and appointing the district superintendents takes us one more step closer to the implementation of the four new districts in January of 2024. We have determined the general vicinity of where the four district offices will be located but there is more work to be done and there are conversations that need to take place before these details are announced. We have begun the work of training district superintendents on the new leadership structure and other training opportunities will be offered for district leadership teams. And the Re-Districting Administrative Team has met and begun the work of identifying all the administrative matters that need to be addressed.
In the next few months, there will be more information forthcoming about district structure, leadership, office locations, staffing, and more. To help shepherd the process and to help shape the structure and leadership teams on the districts, we will continue to work in collaboration with the newly formed Re-Districting Administrative Team, the executive directors, the Cabinet, the Connectional Ministries office, and ministry leaders in the East Ohio Conference.
We have set the weekend of January 27-28, 2024, to be the first gathering in each of the new districts. I will join the district superintendents in each district for a time of worship, connection, and celebration.
Beloved, we are on an adventure together to discover the plan God has for us. Although we are treading on some unknown paths, we are treading with trust and confidence in Christ Jesus who leads us and shows us the way.
I invite us to say YES! as we embrace this new thing that God is doing in the East Ohio Conference. Let us bind our hearts together in prayer and with relentless hope as we prepare for this fresh, new expression of being connected in Christ. Let us continue to keep our eye on our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” And let us continue to live out our shared vision of equipping and resourcing every pastor, local church, and faith community in the East Ohio Conference as we each grow in our capacities to be disciples, to make disciples, and to mature disciples of Jesus Christ; to be agents of God’s healing, hope and transformation in our communities and throughout the world; and to reach new people, younger people, and a more diverse people.
Your Partner in Ministry,
Bishop Tracy S. Malone
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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