GC2020, NCJ dates confirmed; Bishop Ough to stay through 2020

May 27, 2020

The Commission on the General Conference recently announced the postponed 2020 General Conference will be held Aug. 29-Sept. 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Council of Bishops followed that with the announcement that the postponed jurisdictional conferences in the United States will be held Nov. 10-12, 2021.

“We're grateful that we were able to secure new dates while keeping the site of General Conference in Minneapolis,” said Kim Simpson, chair of the Commission on the General Conference. “Nearly seven years of pre-planning and preparations by the host team have gone into this event," said Kim Simpson, chair of the Commission on the General Conference.”
Today, each of the jurisdictions in the United States announced its plans for providing episcopal leadership for the period Sept. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2021. The Council of Bishops has approved these plans, which include Bishop Bruce R. Ough, who was scheduled to retire at the end of August, continuing to serve the Dakotas-Minnesota Area through the remainder of 2020.

“Serving the Dakotas-Minnesota Area over the past eight years has been a joy and a privilege, and despite the unfortunate circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent postponement of General and Jurisdictional Conferences, I’m delighted for the opportunity to journey with Dakotas and Minnesota United Methodists for the remainder of 2020,” Bishop Ough said. “Together, we have accomplished much for the kingdom as we have embraced Jesus’ call to grow in love of God and neighbor, reach new people, and heal a broken world. I thank God for the congregations, clergy, and laity across our Area.”
Here is the process for episcopal oversight in the North Central Jurisdiction, as approved by the Council of Bishops:

Bishop Ough will continue serving the Dakotas-Minnesota Area through the end of 2020.
Phase One – Episcopal Oversight for the remainder of 2020:
  • Bishop Sally Dyck, Northern Illinois Conference, will change her retirement date to make it effective Jan. 1, 2021. She will serve as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference through 2020. Bishop Dyck’s retirement will be a vocational retirement (¶408.2b) as she will become the Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops.
  • Bishop Bruce Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area, will change his retirement date to make it effective Jan. 1, 2021. He will serve as bishop of the Dakotas/Minnesota Area through 2020. Bishop Ough’s retirement will be a vocational retirement (¶408.2b) as he will become the Executive Secretary of the Council of Bishops.
Phase Two Episcopal Oversight for 2021 (process and deadlines):
  • The bishops of the jurisdiction will continue to work together on a plan to provide episcopal oversight for both the above-mentioned areas for 2021.
  • The bishops will consult with the jurisdictional Committee on the Episcopacy and area Committees on the Episcopacy on both this short-term plan (2021), as well as a mid-term plan for the remainder of the quadrennium, and a longer-term plan, post-2024. They will continue in a spirit of discernment, weighing various possibilities and asking missional questions.
  • In preparation for what was to be the 2020-2024 quadrennium, the North Central Jurisdiction had established an Episcopal Leadership Task Force comprised of persons from the college, the Committee on the Episcopacy, and the jurisdictional Mission Council. The primary impetus for this task force was a joint recommendation of the College of Bishops and the Committee on the Episcopacy to the jurisdiction that we move from nine to eight active bishops for the 2020-2024 quadrennium. This task force will continue to do its work, now focusing on the period 2022-2024.

The North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops will have a plan for episcopal leadership for 2021 to propose to the Council of Bishops for their vote no later than June 30, 2020, and a public announcement will follow.

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