As previously discussed in the Conference staff presentation on June 30th, a Master Plan Team met over a series of nine, four-hour meetings, designed to remove bias and turn subjective belief into objective truth for the purpose of redesigning the Conference so that it is best positioned to achieve its goals in light of our current financial situation. And as was shared at that time, in the month of July, Conference Leadership will utilize the Master Plan as the framework to accomplish this new structure. The new staff structure has not yet been selected, but one important aspect has been determined.

The Master Plan team recommended a three department model for moving ahead with the plan. Bishop Trimble has now named the three department directors:

  • Ministry of the Called (Shannon Stringer)
  • Ministry of Accountability (Ian Hall)
  • Connectional and Missional Ministry (Larry Whitehead)

In this new model, based on the redesign that came out of the work of the Master Plan Team, functions of the Church Development team will be contained in the Connectional and Missional Ministry area. Regrettably, this will mean that the director position held by Emily Reece will be eliminated.

Emily Reece, a member of the Blue Ribbon and Master Plan teams, shared about the staffing changes, which will include the elimination of her position as Director of Church Development. “The Conference faces some challenging days ahead and the team arrived at these decisions prayerfully and with great care for the people whose jobs are affected. Even though this new structure means that my time serving the Indiana Conference is ending, I believe these difficult choices will position the organization with strength for the future. I am grateful to have been part of the conversations about these plans and pray for all of us who face an uncertain future in light of these changes.”

These are very difficult decisions to make in a challenging time and these decisions are in no way a reflection on the work that Emily Reece has done as the Director of Church Development. Emily has brought excellent leadership to our Conference and has been a valuable part of the Director and Extended Cabinet teams as well as her work on the Blue Ribbon Taskforce and Master Plan Team. This change will connect to the work the Cabinet has already done with a reduction of Conference Superintendents from 10 to 8 for the coming year. No timetable has been established for the implementation of the three director model, nor for the end date for the Director of Church Development. The full plan will be put in place no later than the fourth quarter of 2020.

Master Plan Team: Bishop Trimble, Aleze Fulbright, Bryan Langdoc, Emily Reece, Lore Gibson, Russ Abel, Shannon Stringer, David Johns, Larry Whitehead, and Ian Hall.