What’s in a name? History, character, geography and more. Help Bishop Bard name the nine new districts.
At the 2017 Annual Conference, members overwhelmingly approved a plan to make the new Michigan Conference a nine-district structure. This summer, Bishop David Bard tasked with drawing up those district boundaries, assembled a task-group of laity, clergy, staff, and cartophiles to advise him on the new ministry areas. The new district boundaries are expected to be announced no later than January.
While the boundary task force goes about its work, one decision has been made. The new districts will arrive with new names. “As we go about forming this new annual conference, we want everyone to experience the creativity that comes when new groups of people come together,” said Bishop David. “Every new district will have the opportunity to discover who they are in mission, ministry, and leadership and to create a name that brings about unity and identity,” he added.
Currently being discussed, shall all the new district names take on a thematic approach, or allow for complete individuality? District superintendents are being encouraged to begin receiving recommendations on both themes and possible district names. The bishop will make the final decision on themes and names once he has received feedback from the task force and district superintendents. Names will be announced next spring.
Considerations for the new names may include geographic identities, historical references, missional and connectional identities, and other variables. One thing for certain, the names require brevity. The new district names will appear and be spoken thousands of times.
If you have an idea for all or some of the new district names, you are encouraged to share them with your district office this fall. People are also invited to post name ideas on the Michigan Conference Facebook Group page.