You may have heard that there is a Conference team (District Alignment Team DAT) working on aligning the Conference with the Conference mission to make disciples that are lifelong learners who influence others to serve. This team recently share some updates and proposed changes. One of those changes is that the Bishop has decided to appoint only 8 District Superintendents to our 16 current Districts. Here are the actual announcements:
Here’s the news about the DS changes: News about DS Changes
Information about the DAT changes: FAQ’s on the New DAT Plan
The net result for the Arlington District is really no change. I will be adding the Alexandria District Superintendency to my workload. Luckily, for our Bi-District area, we are already doing many things together, including training, conferences, and shared staffing. We are well on our way to being able to run two districts side by side with just one District Superintendent. All of our current staff will continue in their current roles, except for Rev. Tim Ward, who will be moving to a new church in July, and had served ¼ time as our District Developer.
This plan also announces the retirement of the current Alexandria Superintendent, Rev. Jeff Mickle. After serving 43 years in pastoral ministry, 6 years as a DS and this past year as Dean of the Cabinet, Jeff has been an integral part of the mission of the church. He has also been a wonderful mentor and colleague (as well as my boss for a few years!) We have a few months before this all takes effect on July 1, 2021, so please be sure and thank Rev. Mickle if you see him on a zoom call!
We will be continuing to develop the ongoing plans for the implementation of the recommendations from the DAT, and as we see the unfolding plans, we will be opening up listening posts and talking to people about how this might work. I will be working closely with our clergy to make sure they are in the loop about any needs for the local church, and I will be working with our lay leader, Karen McElfish, to connect with lay leadership around the ongoing changes.
As I have said before in the midst of all the changes, we will be leading with love, and we will do this by staying calm, staying connected, and focusing on the mission we have ALL been given – to make disciples and transform the world.
-Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert, Arlington District Superintendent