INDIANAPOLIS – Bishop Julius C. Trimble has announced that the Rev. Dr. Cindy Reynolds, Executive Assistant to the Bishop, will serve as Interim Director of Connectional Ministries/Discipleship Development beginning January 1.

Trimble said Reynolds will lead Connectional Ministries and Discipleship Development, the main program ministry area of the Conference, while strategic focus and discovery phase begin to discern the needs of the Conference to fill the position formerly held by Rev. Dr. Jim Bushfield, who will now serve as a Conference Superintendent to the Central District.

"This is a vital time in the life of the Church, and we are fortunate that Cindy will serve in this role during the transition and search period," Trimble said.

He continued, "an intensive focus will be given to the needs of the Conference and our members so that our executive and support staff will be aligned with the mission, vision, and values of The United Methodist Church and the Annual Conference." 

"As the bishop of Indiana, I am committed to staffing that is collaborative and sustainable, as well as aligned with the United Methodist four areas of focus and strategic commitment to ministry with the poor as it is a challenge before our conference now."

Between December and February, Bishop Trimble and Dr. Reyonlds will have conversations with the Extended Cabinet, Conference staff, and various leaders to better understand the current realities and needs of the Conference to discern the talents, gifts, and skills required for a new leader of Connectional Ministries. This interim appointment will allow for a holistic discernment and design to be completed by March 2017.

"We want a conference center and program ministries that are fruitful and equip the Church to accomplish the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. This role is integral in continuing to build the culture of United Methodism in Indiana, as well as to connecting the local church to the world," said Trimble.

Reynolds has served as the executive assistant to the bishop since 2014 and will continue to provide services in that role during this transition. She has served churches throughout the Indiana Conference for more than 34 years. 

Reynolds is a graduate of Ball State University and United Theological Seminary and holds a Doctor of Ministry from St. Paul School of Theology. 

The position of the Director of Connectional Ministries/Discipleship Development will be posted at a later date.