Dear Colleagues in Ministry & Local Church Lay Leadership,
I hope you are having a good summer and hopefully taking some vacation time for rest and renewal. The purpose of this email is to give you some information about the transition with our district offices. As you know, we have made reductions in our conference and district budgets so that we can continue to resource you and your churches while allowing more of your local church offerings to stay in the local church to fund your ministry.
A crucial part of the transition is providing you with contact information and a basic understanding of how we see the new structure flowing so that we can stay in connection with one another.
A word about the best way to reach staff so we can best support you
Email is always the best first step in contacting staff because it gets in the person’s inbox and remains there as a reminder to respond to your question or request. Of course, you can also make contact by phone during business hours. Calls that need to go to your district superintendent outside of normal working hours should be for emergency purposes only. We value margin for the purpose of everyone’s life-work balance, including for you and all members of our staff.
As you know, the number of superintendents has been reduced from six to three, with each superintendent serving two districts. Remember that the district to which your charge belongs has not changed. The superintendents also no longer work out of a particular office. They will be working remotely - out of home offices or offices at local churches - and will be working on the road a good bit of the time. Through your superintendent, you will be connecting one-on-one for consultations and other opportunities. Know that you can connect to your DS through email to share important information, ask important questions, and share important information related to your personal life and family.
Doreen Smalls (firstname.lastname@example.org) Superintendent of Northwest and Southwest Districts
Paula Lewis (email@example.com) Superintendent of North Central and South Central Districts
Scott Hagan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Superintendent of Northeast and Coastal Districts
A full-time Administrative Assistant and a support team will work to support the work of the District Superintendents and the local church.
District Administrative Assistant
Cindy Rollins will serve as the full-time District Administrative Assistant. When you have a question that you would have normally directed to the district office, you will now contact Cindy, who will serve as the main point of contact for those questions. You can reach Cindy by email (email@example.com) or by phone (229-201-9998). The mailing address for all district related correspondence is P.O. Box 5326, Cordele, GA 31010. Through her years of experience as the administrative assistant for the Southwest District, she will be more than able to assist you with your questions. The office hours when Cindy can be reached are Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Clergy & District Services/Data Systems
My role has expanded as Superintendent of Clergy and District Services. In addition to continuing what I have done to assist the Board of Ordained Ministry, Bishop, and Cabinet, I will also help give additional support to the DSs and the team supporting them. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the email address for Kate Tyler, who assists the Board of Ordained Ministry and Bishop Graves, is email@example.com. Meredyth Earnest will have an expanded role as Director of Clergy & District Data Systems. She will be assisting the work of the districts in helping us streamline things such as online charge conference forms and dashboards. And, as you know, Meredyth is also instrumental in preparing for our Annual Conference Session. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-726-0634.
The staff of the Administrative Services Office, under the leadership of Suzanne Jones, Director of Administrative Services/Conference Treasurer, will be taking on the financial aspects related to the districts (accounts, billing, reimbursements, etc.). And, as always, the staff is available to help answer your questions in specific areas: Benefits and Compensation Forms - Eleanor Dickson (email@example.com), Apportionments - Donna Dodgen(firstname.lastname@example.org), and Statistical Tables - Laura Hatcher (email@example.com). Remember that there is a lot of information provided on our conference website about local church administration. You can also call the office number - 478-738-0048 - and our receptionist, Stacy Mays, will answer your call during office hours and direct you to the right person. In addition, Stacy will assist Cindy during charge conference season and other times when call volumes could be above average.
Communications/Connectional Ministries/Congregational Development
Kelly Roberson (firstname.lastname@example.org) directs communications and conference/connectional ministries and assists the bishop. She will now also help coordinate district communications with the assistance of Stephanie Smith(email@example.com).
Connectional Ministries’ primary focus is to help resource the local church. The staff will be working with the District Superintendents to set priorities and look for new ways to walk alongside our local churches.
Anne Bosarge (firstname.lastname@example.org) is in charge of leadership strategies and local church resources (leadership development, Certified Lay Ministry, Lay Servant, cohorts, trainings, etc). Suzanne Akins (email@example.com) oversees our camping and retreat ministries and connects children and youth workers/volunteers across the conference. In part-time capacities, Abra Lattany-Reed leads our diversity & justice ministries, and Daniel Medina leads our hispanic ministries.
Anne is also working with Congregational Development efforts (new church starts, fresh expressions, host churches) and oversees three new Cultivators who are still pastoring local churches but are also working with new communities of faith throughout the Conference: Matt Waldron (firstname.lastname@example.org), Stephanie Smith (email@example.com), and Jeremy Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our desire is to continue providing connections so that you can be supported in your work in the local church and ministry. We are all in the process of streamlining our work so that we can deliver the services you need and will continue to monitor and evaluate these things we have set in place.
We pray for you and covet your prayers for one another.
Grace and Peace,