Learn more about the collaboration among districts
By the Rev. Denise Bates, Dean of the Cabinet and District Superintendent
By the Rev. J. Douglas Forrester,
By the Rev. Dr. Hyo Lee,
From Your District Superintendents
As we anticipate the coming Annual Conference, we, your eight district superintendents, are excited about the new possibilities ahead. All 16 current VAUMC districts have been working diligently and carefully to craft plans to move forward as eight new districts following Annual Conference. We have been inspired and motivated by the work of our fellow districts and their teams throughout this process and are eager to share that with you as we come to Annual Conference.
Each of your district superintendents has been working with a local team to help develop new district structures for our district-level work, projected to be starting July 1, 2022. It is anticipated that once the Annual Conference votes on the final number of districts, we will see new districts doing new things all across our conference. We have been listening, asking questions, challenging the status quo, and searching for the best funding and structures possible to meet the unique needs of our areas, and this work has been done by laity and pastors in the areas they serve. We are incredibly thankful for the participation of so many people in this process, from those who took surveys and participated in listening sessions, to teams of people asking the hard questions of “How can our district help the local churches best?” Out of this time of listening and creation, we have been innovating and restructuring in ways many of us never imagined when we started.
We don’t know what the future holds, and that is probably the biggest challenge of this season. How will our denomination change in the next season of ministry? Who will come with us on a journey to focus our attention on making disciples and transforming the world? We don’t know, and yet in that space between now and the unknown future, we will innovate and experiment and learn new things.
As your district superintendents, we are enthusiastically optimistic that with God’s help, we will help further the mission of Christ in the Virginia Conference. We ask for your approval of eight districts at Annual Conference so this work can move forward.
Your District Superintendents,
Denise P. Bates, Danville & Lynchburg
Charles F. Ledlum-Bates, Rappahannock River & York River
James H. “Jay” Carey Jr., Farmville & James River
Sarah L.K. Calvert, Alexandria & Arlington
J. Douglas Forrester, Roanoke & Staunton
Victor R. Gomez, Harrisonburg & Winchester
Hyo J. Lee, Charlottesville & Richmond
Seonyoung Kim, Eastern Shore & Elizabeth River