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District News

District Hybrid Conference 2023

WATCH LIVE Beginning Friday, November 17 at 5:30 p.m.

Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” -Luke 10:36-37 NRSVUE



Click the video above to watch live, or click here to be redirected to YouTube.

You can also watch via the Greater Detroit District Facebook page. 



“NEW! – Participation and voting will occur using Mentimeter (click the link for the demo)



Click here to download a PDF of the Conference documents. 

For questions or concerns, please contact Dwanda Hayton, District Executive Administrator by email at [email protected].

2024 Equalization Applications Available

Nominations for Lay Equalization members to the Michigan Annual Conference are now open.   Like last year, current plans are for a shortened, but in-person, conference in Traverse City from Thursday, May 30 through Saturday, June 1, 2024.

The Greater Detroit District seeks to make all churches aware of the available positions.  The Commission on the Laity hopes a diverse group of members will take advantage of the opportunity to attend conference.  The applicant maybe a newer member, but must have been active in your church life for at least 2 years.  They may be male or female with ages ranging from 12 yrs. & up. Equalization members will not pay the conference registration fee.

Applications must be received by December 20, 2023.   Applications must be made online at; confirmation notification will be automatically sent to applicants and their pastor.  The Commission will notify those selected by early January 2024.   

Thank you for recommending members to share in the hopes of our 2024 Michigan Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.   If you or your applicants have any questions on this, please email Ruby or Ken as noted in the attached.

  • Invitation letter with contact information for questions (PDF)
  • Online application (link)

2023 Church Conference Resources

Conference Theme: Who are the people in your neighborhood?
Verse: Luke 10:36-37 (NRSVUE)

Click here to download graphics for your Charge Conference packets: JPG or PDF

Here is what you need to know about church conferences this year:

  • Charge Conference Letter (PDF)
  • Charge Conference Instructions and Tips (PDF)
  • Most charge conference forms again this year are common across Michigan.
  • Additional forms needed for Greater Detroit this year are:
    • GDD Paperwork Deadlines (link)
    • GDD Charge Conference Agenda (Word)
    • GDD Church Leadership List (fill-able PDF)
      • Church Leadership List for Churches with Single Board Governance (Word)
  • The GDD charge conference schedule  (PDF 10-24-2023)




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


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

“Continuing the Dream”

Sunday, January 14, 2024 – 2:30 p.m. reception and 3:30 p.m. service

In person and Livestreamed · Royal Oak First United Methodist Church

320 W. Seventh St., Royal Oak, MI 48067 · 248.541.4100

Rev. Jeff Nelson, Lead Pastor


To Download the MLK Celebration Letter and Scholarship Application, click here.


Dear Greater Detroit District Pastors, Lay Leaders, and Youth Leaders,

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” He spoke of the power of education, the urgency of equality, the pillar of justice.  To pay tribute to his legacy, and to continue to cultivate these dreams within our own lives, we invite you to gather at the 30th Celebration honoring Dr. King.

Through a service of song, prayer, litany, and reflection, we will use our voices to continue to speak about the things that matter. We will present awards and scholarships to individuals within our congregations who are pivotal examples of his legacy and who use their lives as a platform to speak. This celebration is always a beautiful way to recenter our hearts and intentions. It is uplifting, poignant, and powerful. We sincerely hope to see you there, either in person or via the livestream!

To participate:

  • Encourage your congregation to join us for this impacting service either in person or via livestream.
  • Nominate a clergy or layperson who demonstrates Rev. King’s values to be named a “Drum Major for Justice.”
    • Please submit a one-page nomination by October 13, 2023 to the MLK Committee by email: [email protected]


Faithfully, your 30th Celebration Committee honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,

Sherman Louis  · Micki Phelps · Victor Raybaud · Tina Campbell · Susanna Webber · Rev. Jeff Nelson, Host Pastor



Mission Matters – Resources

   Check out what’s new for August, 2023 . . .    
   Looking for ideas and places to connect for Missions? Check out our list here!

Resources for your mission planning
from the Greater Detroit District Missions Committee

  • Mission Matters – recent posts
    • Aug 2023 – Readers to Leaders (PDF)
    • Jun 2023 – Redford Brightmoor Initiative (PDF)
    • Apr 2023 – Wyandotte Missions (PDF)
    • Jan 2023 – The Work of Christmas (PDF)
  • Index of Mission Opportunities – Detroit, Michigan, and beyond (PDF)


What difference can we really make?

What difference can we really make?

Personal Reflections on UM Advocacy Day in Lansing on March 22, 2023

Rev. Taek Kim, Sr. Pastor of Metropolitan UMC


I remember visiting a friend’s house when I was a child and playing one of our favorite games, hide-and-seek.  Upon entering one room I found several shiny silver objects on the floor that the bright sun revealed in the thick carpet.  When I could see clearly what they were, I carefully picked them up and took them to my friend’s mother.  She was shocked and quickly took them from me.  Later, I learned that her boyfriend had dropped them, as well as left his loaded gun in that very room which I fortunately did not find. 
Unfortunately, we have heard of too many accidental shooting deaths by children who found a loaded gun in the house.  Not as often in the news are suicides by youth with firearms that were not securely stored.  We are living with the ongoing tragedies of gun violence that range from seemingly random shootings to those planned and calculated, the most recent being that in Nashville where three, 9-year-old children and three adults were killed.
Gun violence has affected us all in one way or another, in one degree or another.  One of my childhood friends lost his father who was shot during a store robbery.  Sadly, that was not the only experience of loss to gun violence of someone I knew or whom I was close to.  My heart grieved even more when one of my church members lost his cousin in the mass shooting at MSU on February 13th.
With the seemingly never ending, senseless gun violence, I often wonder what, if anything, we can really do to make a difference, especially knowing that gun violence will be a constant battle, as it is with racism, sexism, and all forms of discrimination.
That powerless feeling we have, more so as individuals than as a group, was overcome for many with the first United Methodist Advocacy Day on March 22nd.  Over 300 United Methodists and friends gathered to meet with Michigan state senators and representatives to urge support for safer gun legislation that not only make sense, but that law enforcement, the majority of gun owners, and most of America supports.  In our democracy, we all have a responsibility to engage with our political system, including around issues of gun safety.  Although it may seem like unknown powers have the greatest influence, we all have a voice, and when we come together that voice can speak with truth to power.  Momentum has grown and continues to build up as more and more people advocate for safer gun legislation and the reversal of tragic statistics and reports, including that the leading cause of death for children since 2021 is gun violence.
Among the many moving and inspiring moments of Advocacy Day was seeing long-time champions of social justice alongside those who were taking action and speaking up for the very first time.  Another moment was during a meeting with a senator’s legislative director, and our group included a mom and her two young sons who wanted to use their presence and voices to call for a change to what has caused them to fear for their very lives and the lives of their friends and classmates.  Along with repeated news of school shootings, students are also regularly reminded of the fears and threats of gun violence with periodic active shooter drills that are now a “normal” part of their education.  On behalf of State Senator McMorrow, Legislative Director Chaffin shared she had many experiences with active shooter drills as a student, along with regular talks with her dad, a teacher, having “what if” conversations in case there was a shooting at their school.  I was moved because I could tell the young participants not only felt heard and that someone could relate to them, but also empowered that their presence and voices actually did make a difference.
I know this is not your typical article describing a United Methodist event, including who attended and what we accomplished.  You can read an excellent article that fully reports about Advocacy Day on the Michigan Conference UMC website by clicking here. Instead, I felt led to share more of my own experiences, feelings, and thoughts about Advocacy Day and how reflecting upon it brought to the surface what I realized God doesn’t want me to push away or bury.  And among the various feelings that God wanted me to face was that of fear, including that my actions would amount to little or nothing at all.  In the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and odds, Advocacy Day renewed in me and many others our hope in God and what God can do in and through us when we do our parts and join together to advocate for change on issues that affect us all.
We all need renewed hope at times, as we constantly advocate for change, for new laws, and for systems that help protect and even save lives when it comes to gun violence, violence against Black, Indigenous and people of color, and all forms and acts of violence and injustice.  In doing so, we are being an active part of bringing about God’s kingdom on earth.  What we do by praying, being present, making phone calls, writing emails and letters, standing up and speaking out as individuals and as a group, and in rallying, demonstrating and even protesting, are all part of God’s work and movement in making needed changes.  Even when things seem to be getting worse, regress rather than advance, and more and more hopeless, let us remember that God is hope, our hope, and the hope for the world.  With the hope we have in God, let us not tire of doing what we know will be a constant battle and struggle, especially when it seems like we’re making little to no difference at all.  God can work mightily through one person, and even more powerfully when we join together with our prayers, voices, and actions for the love of God and love for one another.
I leave you with one of several verses I turn to when I am discouraged and facing what seems like an impossible challenge to overcome.  May this verse be a source of hope and renewal for you when it seems like, or when you’re tempted to believe, your actions make little to no difference at all. 

“Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NRSV)

Greater Detroit District