Present: Ryan Russell, Jim Searls, Paul White, Gail Burgess, Laura Witkowski, Curtis Brown, Lonnie Chafin.
Ryan opened the meeting with a prayer and acknowledged that he appreciates this group. ☺
Paul White provided an update on meetings being held to discuss the election of new Bishops. He noted that pausing the elections is not likely at this point. It is possible that the General Conference may not be able to be held yet next August; international travel is a real concern.
Laura reported on the Task Force formed last fall. There was discussion of the implications of no elections; they will be meeting again. Many at the meeting emphasized that we need to consider out mission and ministry, not just financial concerns. There is a committee looking at the role of the Episcopacy and perhaps making some changes.
Should the Mission Council have an opinion/make a statement regarding our position on electing new Bishops? If we are not electing a Bishop, do we need a Jurisdictional Conference? Should we hold a virtual delegation meeting prior to the General Conference…or a virtual Jurisdictional Conference? This could be discussed at our full council meeting.
Sixteen applications for NCJ Grants had been received. In addition, Ryan had been contacted by Native American Course of Study indicating they had been unaware when applications were due. Ryan will contact them and let them know their application must be in by Monday October 5 in order to be reviewed by the full council.
Four of the applications received will be sent on to the full council to review. These are: Latinx Center at Garrett, Midwest Mission Distribution Center, Grace Pictures, Ohio and NCJ UMVIM. We are requesting some clarification from Latinx Center (Budget) and Grace Pictures (Audience? Sample? Covenant with Ohio?) that will also be sent on to the full council. (NOTE: Those eliminated from consideration – most because they were not jurisdictional in scope – were: Learning to Succeed, Urbana; Journey of Hope, O’Fallon; Clifton, Ohio UMC; Friendly Center, Ohio; Two Rivers, Ohio UMC; Mahomet Fiber and Phones; Ohio Wesley Foundation; Chaddick, IL; Shesler Hall, Iowa; Cornerstone Summer Reading Program; Illinois Wesley Foundation; Altoona, WI UMC.
Members will be asked to review the five applications using the evaluation form provided by Wednesday. Our meeting will be at Noon CST on Wednesday, October 8. The agenda will include: Devotion, Minutes, Updates on Task Force, Conversation of Election of Bishops and Jurisdictional Conference, Finance Report and Budget, NMCJ Ministry Grants, Future Meeting Dates. Meeting adjourned at 2 pm.