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District News

Lay Member to Annual Conference Orientation

Is this your first time participating in the Michigan Annual Conference? Or do you want a refresher on what to expect at Annual Conference? We have two opportunities for you to get oriented. You can choose the date that works best for your schedule. There is no need to register. The Zoom link and other connection information are below.

The Michigan Conference Board of Laity will be offering two opportunities for a lay member to annual conference orientation on Thursday, May 16 from 7:30 to 8:30 PM EDT OR Saturday, May 18 from 9 to 10 AM EDT. The two dates include duplicate information so it’s only necessary to attend one of them. Pick the time that works for you!

Members of the Board of Laity will give a quick presentation on what you need to know for Annual Conference (AC) and then open it up for questions. Topics include:

  • the role and responsibilities of the lay member to AC,
  • terminology,
  • procedures,
  • and more!

Our time together will be informal, fun and informative!
Registration is not required.

ALL are invited! If this is your first time attending AC or if you just need a refresher, this orientation is for you.

Connect with this Zoom Link at the day/time you select: https://michiganumc.zoom.us/j/87274013786?pwd=HjUJQ4cV8P5QYZNhmI1YIu5a7tufUx.1

Statement of Belief

Greater Detroit District Church & Society Committee
A Statement of Belief

As United Methodists, we believe scripture affirms that “all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God” (161, Human Sexuality, 2016 The Book of Discipline Social Principles). Therefore, we believe the United Methodist Church (UMC) through its ministries of love, justice, and service must be open, affirming and welcoming to all of God’s children.

Too often, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+*) persons have been marginalized and excluded from full inclusion in the life of the United Methodist Church. Through words, actions, and inaction, the UMC has contributed to the suffering of LGBTQ+ persons and impeded rather than nurtured their personal relationship with Christ. Jesus demonstrated radical inclusion of those rejected by mainstream society. As followers of Christ, we are called to welcome all persons into the life and ministry of the Church and to celebrate the spiritual gifts of all those who have been baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ.

The United Methodist Church therefore must reject and refuse to accept/tolerate any form of discriminatory action directed at LGBTQ+ people by members of our church leadership and in particular our clergy, given their unique responsibility to reflect by word and action God’s will. 

The UMC must not sanction discrimination against any group of persons. 

Mark 12:30-31 says, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

There are no exceptions in Christ’s call to love your neighbor.
Adopted by the GDD C&S Committee on March 14, 2024.

Frank Driscoll
Chairperson of the Greater Detroit District Church & Society Committee

*We recognize that terminology regarding sexual identity is both fluid and highly culturally contextual. The choice to use the initialism LGBTQ+ in this statement of belief does not preclude translators or, indeed, individuals from applying timely

Hands with Detroit 2024

WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU:
Spread the word! Please help your congregations know that the opportunity to serve awaits them on April 27, 2024. We have a morning and afternoon shift, tasks for all ability levels, and projects for ages 10 and up!

WHAT WE KNOW:
This day has a history of gathering people from all over our District to be in Mission. While time has allowed the momentum behind this day to ebb and flow (and survive a global pandemic) we are energized and more enthused than ever to pour love and caring and joy and grace and goodness back into the city of Detroit and its underserved populations alongside one another.

  • Every person who comes helps to transform lives.
  • Every person who comes helps to share God with those who need to remember God is with them.
  • Every person who comes helps to make the list of tasks to be done shorter.
  • Every person who comes helps to be the Light.
  • Every person who comes matters.

HOW TO REGISTER:
To register for both ON-SITE projects and OFF-SITE collections, click the link below.

Register Now!

QUESTIONS?
Please reach out to Susanna Webber at [email protected].

A SINCERE THANK YOU…
We understand that church life is busy life, that each season often holds many opportunities for congregations to step into Mission work in some way. Our District is pretty awesome like that. So, we sincerely say thank you in advance for taking a look at calendars and sharing on social media, in bulletins, on pre-service slides, and by word of mouth about Hands with Detroit. Thank you. Thank you!

We can’t wait to see you there!

Pay District Ministry Shares Online

Our District Treasurer, Victor Raybaud, has been working on a way for churches to pay their District Ministry Shares online. The Greater Detroit District currently uses the Vanco Payment company to receive and transfer funds. These Vanco tiles have already been used to receive payments for several events over the last year. You may have used one of these tiles if you participated or donated funds to an event (e.g. Hands with Detroit, MLK Scholarship Fund, etc.).

To access the Vanco tile to make a District Ministry Share payment, copy and paste this link into your web browser:  https://secure.myvanco.com/L-Z9HV/campaign/C-13RHB

Provide the information that is requested and click the proper option to advance to the next page. The process to submit a payment is quite easy to follow. However, if you would like more detailed instructional information on the steps, please click below for a printable instruction sheet. Should you have any questions, concerns or suggestions for improvements, please send an email to our District Treasurer, Victor Raybaud at [email protected].

DOWNLOAD AN INSTRUCTION SHEET HERE.

 

District Admin’s Corner

New district office hours.

The ‘physical’ Greater Detroit District office hours located at Metropolitan UMC are by appointment only. The District Executive Administrator, Dwanda Hayton’s office hours are Mon.-Thurs. 8am-4pm and 8am-11am Friday. If there is a supervisory emergency, the caller can reach Rev. Totty by phone at: 313-300-3085.

 

Local Church conferences will be held earlier in 2024.
The District will have a new model for church conferences. We are “Daring to Shift” to a new way of ministry as we engage in Missions and Ministry and work in synergy in connectionism and outreach.  

We will start the church conferences in late August or early September. The church conference season will end Oct. 31, 2024 and we will use Zoom to facilitate all meetings. Stay tuned for more details and scheduling. If your church would like to have church conference early in the schedule. Please contact the District Executive Admin. Dwanda Hayton at [email protected] to request an early date in scheduling.

Please start to prepare your church leaders for those conversations around church conference forms.

  • Want to get an early start on forms?
  • You can draft forms based on last year’s documents. The 2024 church conference files will be available online around May 1, 2024 at this link: https://michiganumc.org/resources/forms/
  • All documents will be uploaded through Dropbox to your district church Dropbox folder link. Drobox links will be emailed to each church before their local church conference. Don’t have a church Dropbox account. The district strongly advises all churches to create a free Dropbox account to make uploading forms easier for your file management.
  • Each church is responsible for keeping a permanent file copy of their church conference file packets submitted to the district office.
  • The district will not accept ANY  paper copies of church forms. All forms must be submitted electronically to Dropbox.
  • Church Conference document submission training will be offered this summer via Zoom.
  • Stay tuned for more details…..

 

 

Is your leadership roster up-to-date in Brick River?
Brick River is the official Michigan Conference database. Please make sure your leadership roster is up-to-date. Click HERE for easy instructions to update local church leadership in Brick River.

 

Does the District Office have your correct church and clergy information? CLICK HERE TO UPDATE YOUR INFORMATION with the District Office

Call for Two-state Solution: Church & Society

A Greater Detroit District Church and Society Committee Action Alert

Urge Biden administration to immediately pursue, facilitate and implement a two-state solution for Middle East peace.

The Greater Detroit District (GDD) Church and Society Committee joins the voices of the United Nations Secretary – General; the US President, and US allies from the Middle East and around the globe, in calling for the aggressive formulation and prompt implementation of a two-state solution as the only just and viable roadmap to an enduring Middle East peace between Israel and its Middle East neighbors.

This Committee endorses a two-state solution that is in compliance with the 1947 UN General Assembly approved plan to partition Palestine into Arab and Jewish states with international rule over Jerusalem.

We concur with the November 29, 2023, statement when the UN Secretary – General called on the international community to move towards a two-state (Palestine/Israel) solution to the Palestinian – Israeli conflict with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, with territorial integrity and security. The UN went on to declare that under a two-state solution, Jerusalem would serve as the capital of both states.

We also embrace President Biden’s October 25, 2023 invitation to all involved countries and US allies to support the two-state solution as the only doorway to lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. We call on the President to show strong and assertive leadership to put those words into action.

We call on the United Methodist Council of Bishops, who have condemned the recent attacks in the region, to raise their voice in support of the two-state solution as the only just and viable resolution to the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Directly email President Biden now https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Or call the White House (202) 456-1111 and our Senators (202) 224-3121

Raise your voice and tell the President to use his immense influence for justice and peace. Too many lives continue to face unimaginable atrocities.
Remain steadfast in our witness and advocacy for peace.

We continue to pray for the innocent civilians, both Israeli and Gazan, many of them women and children, who have suffered incarceration as hostages, dislocation from bombardment, and injury and death as a result of the hostilities.

As United Methodists, “we believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ… As disciples of Christ, we are called to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict. We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them.” United Methodist Social Principles 165.

Tell U.S. Congress to Support Policies to deescalate Middle East Conflict and Pursue Peace

A Greater Detroit District Church and Society Committee Action Alert: Tell U.S. Congress to Support Policies to deescalate Middle East Conflict and Pursue Peace

The Greater Detroit District (GDD) Church and Society Committee joins other faith communities in calling for an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation and restraint by all parties engaged in the current violent conflict between Israel and Hamas.

We also join the United Methodist Council of Bishops, who in a statement condemned the recent attacks in the region, grieved the loss of life and called for the immediate release of all hostages. We pray for the innocent civilians, many of them women and children, who have suffered incarceration as hostages, dislocation, injury and death as a result of the hostilities. We also pray for those who remain trapped and under bombardment in Gaza.

United Methodists must remain steadfast in our witness and advocacy for peace.

As United Methodists, “we believe war is incompatible with the teachings and example of Christ… As disciples of Christ, we are called to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict. We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them.” United Methodist Social Principles 165.C

Lobby Congress today to stop the violence

The GDD Church and Society Committee is raising its voice in calling on Congress to take action that de-escalates the Israel/Hamas conflict, upholds international conventions and supports unrestricted humanitarian aid that will allow agencies to provide food, water and medical supplies in the war-torn region.

You can raise your voice for peace now. Contact your elected congressional leaders today and ask them to help stop the spread of violence, prevent further loss of life and support humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering.

Recap: 30th Celebration Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

The Greater Detroit District of the United Methodist Church presented, Continuing the Dream, the 30th Celebration Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hosted by Royal Oak First UMC on Sunday, January 14.

You can watch the full program by clicking here.

Click here to watch a breakdown of individual speeches, awards and song.

Click here for a full photo gallery of the evening by photographer Jennell May. 

Click here to watch a video slideshow created by our District Superintendent, Dr. Totty.

Read the article by the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church.

HELP FUND THE 2025 SCHOLARSHIPS

Each year the Greater Detroit District awards high school seniors and college students scholarships in memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The 2024 scholarships were funded in part by a grant from the District, and in part by individual donations. You can help to fund the 2025 scholarships by clicking here.

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Greater Detroit District