Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in the name of the One who is making all things new. I pray that this note finds you safe and well. I am writing to you today to give an update on the Bi-District Initiative.
Since the beginning of October, a dedicated team of lay and clergy leaders from our two districts has been working together to dream of what a new district would look like that comprises what is now the territory of the Roanoke and Staunton Districts. We have prayed, asked good questions, met with persons who have experienced redistricting in other conferences, and had an exciting conversation with Kay Kotan about what a simplified accountable structure could look like at the district level. The other bi-districts around the Virginia Conference are doing similar work as they dream of what a new district could look like in their regions.
We are calling our new district the Valley Ridge District, a name that we believe captures the varied environs in which the churches of the Roanoke and Staunton districts find themselves. Our dream is that the Valley Ridge District will be as strategic and missional as it is administrative and managerial. We envision ways that we can better resource our lay and clergy leaders while better equipping congregations to build organic relationships to be partners in ministry in this wonderful connection we call the United Methodist Church.
One of the great joys of my time as your District Superintendent has been found in seeing the exciting ways the Roanoke and Staunton district offices have been able to develop new partnerships to do ministry in a new way. You can expect to hear more about this process as we move through the winter and into spring, so keep an eye on our new bi-district communications and our soon-to-be-launched new bi-district website. As always, if you have questions, feel free to reach out. I am excited about what the future holds for our churches and the communities into which God has placed them.
Grace and peace, Doug