Present: Bishop Trimble, Paul White, Ryan Russell, Laura Witkowski, Lonnie Chaffin, Curtis Brown, Gail Burgess

Chair Ryan Russel called the meeting to order and Bishop Trimble offered the opening prayer.

The College of Bishops has determined that North Central Jurisdiction will have a Special Session, in person, in Fort Wayne, Indiana on Thursday-Friday, November 11-13, 2021.  If it is necessary to hold the session virtually, the College will make that decision.  COVID protocols will be followed.

Paul White shared information he had received during a July 14 phone conversation with Bishop Bard.  Participants will include the Bishops (paid by GFCA), 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates, conference staff and conference communications personnel (paid by conferences) and non-delegate Mission Council members helping to plan the event. Invited guests may include representatives to help facilitate discussions on Anti-Racism and the Future of the UMC.  

Delegates will stay in the downtown area.  There are many restaurants near the hotels. The meetings will be held in a Fort Wayne UMC church; one is close to the hotel, the other is approximately 1 ½ miles away.  

There will not be a published pre-conference journal; information will be online.  

The basic schedule outline:

Thursday, November 11

Friday, November 12

Saturday, November 13

9:30   Opening Worship

Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer

Organizing Information

Episcopacy Committee Report

9:45-11:30 Concluding Business

12:00-1:30.  Lunch

12:00-1:30. Lunch

Closing with Communion

Anti- Racism Discussions

Future of the UMC

5:00. Supper

5:00 Supper

Delegations Meetings

7:00 Celebration of Retirees

Lonnie offered a tentative budget for the event. All delegates attending (up to 196 lay and clergy) will receive $245 for the two days. This should cover hotel and meal (two suppers) expenses.  Cost of transportation will be paid separately, with a $500 cap on air flights and mileage rate to reflect more than one person traveling in a vehicle.  An estimate of the total cost for the event is $155,000; a regular session could cost approximately $350,000. In 2024 NCJ will meet in the Dakotas.  Lonnie suggested not increasing conference apportionments; we will continue to reduce our carryover. (On January 1, 2021 this was at $600,000; Lonnie estimates it would be at $60,000 in 2024.)

There was a brief discussion about what other jurisdictions are doing.  Southeast will meet July 21. West is meeting July 17 and will approve one retirement. Northeast is not meeting. South Central is also not meeting. We have two fewer Bishops as well as a Bishop currently on disability.  This means seven conferences are being covered by three Bishops and a retired Bishop.

It was agreed that Mission Council will not meet in person in 2021; we can meet virtually to review grants sometime after September 1 (October 15). We can plan for an in-person Mission Council meeting in May of 2022 (perhaps in Chicago). A hybrid pre-jurisdictional meeting will be planned for November of 2022. In-Person meetings will be planned for 2023 and 2024; these will include new Council members elected at the 2022 Jurisdictional session.

It was agreed that the budget will include a $100,000 limit on grants; we have already awarded $57,500 for the quadrennium.  Lonnie will share this information with the full council. 

The 2020” General Conference Committee is moving forward with plans to meet in Minneapolis in 2022.  They will need to decide in the spring of 2022 if it cannot be held yet due to COVID.  IF there is no General Conference in 2022, it appears that there still could be episcopal elections at the 2022 Jurisdictional Conferences.

There was discussion regarding Bishop Bards request for two representatives from Mission Council to help plan the sessions on Anti-Racism and the Future of the UMC.  Ryan will ask Nitza Dovenspike if she would help the session on Anti-Racism and we will suggest that someone from NCJ CORR be the other person.  We agreed to submit Ryan Russell and Curtis Brown to help plan the session on the Future of the UMC.  Hopefully, we will encourage cross delegation meetings and webinars ahead of the special November session so that a plan can come out of it.  (Note: There will not be assigned seats by delegations. Also, the 2016 Journal is available online and includes the Standing Rules.)

The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be September 10 at noon to review Progress Reports. The full Mission Council will meet virtually on Friday, October 15 from 9 am until noon CDT (10 am until 1 pm EDT). 

Gail Burgess


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