Latest from the Bishop

Easter message: ‘Pray with your eyes wide open’


Bishop Ough invites us to look for change, for hope, and for signs of Christ’s victory over death “with eyes wide open” in anticipation of the future.

A change of leadership


A common question posed to me these days is, “So, how is it with our new bishop?” There are so many layers to that question that it is hard to have a better answer than, “Well, it is interesting!” Those who speak Minnesotan may interpret this to mean that I am too polite to say what I really think. But in this case, I truly mean “interesting,” in the best sense. I am stimulated, ...

Vital congregations series entry #4: Why start new small groups?


It’s been nine months since Minnesota United Methodist churches began recording and reporting weekly statistical data for our denomination-wide United Methodist Vital Congregations project. United Methodist churches across the connection have set goals and are intentionally tracking seven important metrics: 1.       worship attendance 2.       number of people received into membership by...

Unleashing new life


by Bruce R. Ough Our journey together has begun! My wife, Char, and I are delighted to begin our service with and among the people called United Methodist in Minnesota and the Dakotas. Your hospitality has been radical. Your passion for Christ’s mission is palpable. Your commitment to the scriptural imperatives of cultivating spiritual vitality and reaching new people is bearing fruit. ...

Join St. Croix Valley UMC in partnering with a new-church start


Sometimes we need to pay attention to the little things. St. Croix Valley United Methodist Church’s lay member of annual conference was talking with a dear friend of hers while attending conference last May. The discussion turned to some of the new things that churches were doing to attract new people. The friend shared what she had heard about what New Day United Methodist Church is ...

Best days ever at camp—today and to come


It was Monday morning, July 23. I was at Koronis Assembly Grounds on a site visit with our prospective director of camping, Keith Shew. A young girl was riding her bike down the hill in front of the dining hall, yelling out: “Best. Day. Ever!” This was even before breakfast. We have gone through many hard discussions and made difficult decisions related to our camp and retreat ministry. ...

Farewell, Minnesota


by Bishop Sally Dyck As I leave Minnesota, I want to thank all of you for the welcome and support that both Ken and I received while here. One of the joys of the journey I've been on in this ministry is being able to live and work in Minnesota. Have I mentioned to you lately how much we have loved living in this wonderful state? One of my intentional goals was to make sure that the rest ...

Pension update from General Conference 2012


What happened at General Conference 2012? It depends on who you ask. If you ask a conference treasurer or benefits officer, they will mention some of the changes in the area of clergy pensions and benefits. It’s important to know that for those already retired, pension benefits will not change. Active clergy will not lose any pension benefits already accrued. Whatever your age or status ...

Vital Congregations entry #3: Why professions of faith?


It’s been eight months since the churches of the Minnesota Annual Conference began recording and reporting weekly statistical data for our nation-wide United Methodist Vital Congregations project. United Methodist churches across the country have set goals and are intentionally tracking seven important metrics: worship attendance people received into membership by profession of faith ...

Can we talk?


I know this column is called “Since You Asked,” but I would like to turn the tables and ask a question of you this month. My question is: can we talk? Comedian Joan Rivers often used this phrase during her act. When she said this, it usually meant that she was about to make someone (her husband, for example) uncomfortable. I’m going to take this opportunity to channel Joan Rivers and ask...

The quality of the conversation


Recently, I made a few college visits with my nephew. One president, in speaking to the potential students, stated that a criterion you should use in assessing a college is the quality of the conversation that happens in the dormitory hallways in those late night gatherings. What I expected him to say was to judge a school by what happens in the classroom. Instead, he said the level of ...

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