The Transition Team for forming eight new districts in the North Carolina Conference has named four sub-committees to assist in the work with various aspects of the move from 12 districts. Recommendations from the sub-committees will be considered by the Transition Team before final decisions are made.
“Whatever you have heard about final decisions that have been made is speculation,” Bishop Al Gwinn told the Conference Connectional Table during their Oct. 17 meeting. “There are sub-committees that are working on items for Transition Team consideration but no final decisions have been made.”
“Determined to live with specific values as it works, the Transition Team has a commitment to prayer, to openness and new ideas, listening to local churches and clergy, and consulting beyond the annual conference,” Bishop Gwinn said.
He further said that under the new district plan, district superintendents will be in the field four to five days a week among the local churches, determining the best form of coaching strategies. The superintendents will also help congregations understand the vision of making disciples and empowered to embrace the Wesleyan Way and to build effective teams, Bishop Gwinn said.
Bishop Gwinn plans to name the eight district superintendents by mid-January, 2012.
The sub-committees, announced by the Rev. Linda Taylor, Transition Team chair, are District lines, Leadership, Property, and Vision.
The Lines sub-committee is working with Bishop Gwinn and the Cabinet on the new district lines and names of the districts. New districts are based on population and potential for growth moving into 2015. The sub-committee is planning to finalize its recommendations on district names and lines no later than Jan. 1, 2012.
Working with lay and clergy on the transition from 12 to eight districts is the Leadership sub-committee. Discussions have been held with the Conference Board of Laity on a time-line to receive feedback for making the transition for United Methodist Women, men, and youth, as well as lay speaking directors, and district lay leaders. District superintendents are presenting a “pool of leaders,” both laypersons and clergy, who could serve effectively on district committees.
“The plan is to have a list of possible leaders for eight districts to the Cabinet by Jan. 26, 2012,” said Rev. Taylor.
“The Leadership sub-committee will also post position and hiring notices for assistants to district superintendents,” Taylor said. “The committee will hold interviews and choose two or three qualified finalists for each of the eight districts.”
Under the time-line, assistants to the district superintendents will be named by April, trained in May and June for a July 1 start date.
Responsibility for the Property sub-committee is the transfer of property and assets, equity of district work fund calculations, disposition of currently owned parsonages that are no longer needed, and relocation of district offices that are currently in district parsonages.
“The Vision sub-committee will provide learning opportunities and support for district superintendents as they move in a new superintendency roll,” said Taylor. “In addition, they will provide learning opportunities for clergy and laity as they too learn to work with the new district model and will assist in training the new assistants to the district superintendents.”
“The Transition Team thanks everyone who responded to the ‘five questions’ on the on-line survey. Your thoughts and ideas were extremely important as the team began their work,” Taylor said.
“Be assured that every comment made was read by the team and given serious consideration. We continue to ask for your prayers as we go about completing the work before us. We are confident that this new way will bring renewed energy and excitement across every part of the North Carolina Conference and most importantly will honor the Lord of the Church, Jesus Christ.”