By: Amanda Yanchury
Bishop Bruce Ough will become bishop of the Minnesota Annual Conference and the Dakotas Annual Conference beginning Sept. 1, 2012.
The North Central Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee announced this and other bishop assignments in the 11-conference jurisdiction on July 19 in Akron, Ohio. They assigned Bishop Ough, who most recently oversaw the West Ohio Annual Conference, to the new Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area. The conferences are not merging.
“Bishop Ough and his wife Charlene will be a great addition to the Minnesota Annual Conference,” said Judy Zabel, member of the North Central Jurisdiction Episcopacy Committee. “Bishop Ough has a proven track record of exemplary leadership. He has a heart for Jesus Christ, for sharing good news, and addressing issues of poverty. He is mission-minded and will lead by example.”
Bishop Ough was consecrated in 2000. As bishop he has served in the Ohio West Episcopal Area for three terms.
Bishops are assigned for four-year terms. They may be assigned to the same area for a second consecutive term, and in rare cases may be assigned to the same area for three consecutive terms.
General Conference 2008 reduced the number of bishops per United States jurisdiction by one, effective 2012. The North Central College of Bishops determined in 2010 that the Dakotas and Minnesota, while remaining separate conferences, would share a bishop as one episcopal area. The West Michigan and Detroit Conferences currently share a bishop as separate conferences in one episcopal area.
The primary office for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area will be in Minneapolis, for its proximity to the international airport. A transition team of representatives from both conferences have been meeting to plan how the conferences will effectively share a bishop.
Rev. Cindy Gregorson (director of ministries for Minnesota Conference) and Greg Kroger (Bishop's Assistant for Connectional Ministries for the Dakotas Conference) have been working together on the new bishop’s schedule for his first twelve months in the area. Opportunities to welcome the new bishop will be announced.
The bishop assignments for the quadrennium beginning Sept. 1, 2012:
Bishop Sally Dyck: Northern Illinois Episcopal Area
Bishop Michael Coyner: Indiana Episcopal Area
Bishop John Hopkins: Ohio East Episcopal Area
Bishop He-Soo Jung: Wisconsin Episcopal Area
Bishop Jonathan Keaton: Illinois Great Rivers Episcopal Area
Bishop Deborah Kiesey: Michigan/Detroit Episcopal Area
Bishop Bruce Ough: Dakotas/Minnesota Episcopal Area
Bishop Linda Lee: Retirement
Bishop Gregory Palmer: Ohio West Episcopal Area
Bishop Julius Trimble: Iowa Episcopal Area
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church