Planning continues toward four new Michigan Disciples Regional Associates replacing current Regional Elders in January, 2022, and moving to a shared Regional Minister with the Illinois-Wisconsin region. Our current Regional Minister, Eugene James, will retire in December.
The projected plan calls for contracting with four ordained clergy who will provide part-time support to 8-13 congregations and clergy in four Districts. They will be the “ears and eyes” for a part-time Regional Minister. The current proposal is for Teresa Dulyea-Parker, Regional minister of the Christian Church in Illinois-Wisconsin to serve also as Michigan’s Regional Minister, working closely with the Regional Associates.
James is working with Dulyea-Parker in selecting the four Regional Associates with plans to introduce them at the September Michigan Regional Assembly. “We are working with the Commission on the Ministry to finalize the job profile as we look for specific skills needed for this new position,” explained Eugene.
These positions will carry more responsibility than the Regional Elder role. “It will be critical that the positions are filled with persons who carry credibility with our clergy,” James added. Clearly, he noted, it will very much be a sacrificial calling, since the remuneration will be a stipend, not a salary.
The plan calls for enlarging the current three regional districts to four, creating a new Central District to include Flint area churches, Lansing, Muir and Ionia. The North and Central Districts will include eight churches, West will have 11 churches and the Southeast will include 13 congregations. (See map here)
The move to four Regional Associates and formation of Four Districts will be a business item for approval at the July 17 Regional Board meeting and action by the September 11 Regional Assembly. Also for consideration and action by the plenary bodies will be the calling of Teresa Dulyea-Parker as Regional Minister and approving the Partnership plan for the Illinois-Wisconsin and Michigan Regions.