Bishop Tracy S. Malone has named Kimberly Green lay leader of the East Ohio Conference. Effective July 1 she will succeed Greg Rentsch, who is stepping down after serving six years in the position.
“Kimberly brings a strong passion and personal faith commitment to Christian discipleship and mission,” Malone said. “Her various leadership roles in the local church, and at the district- and Conference-levels demonstrate her ability to work and serve with lay and clergy to advance the Church’s mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Green is the lay leader at Celebration United Methodist Church (North Coast District) and a lay member to Annual Conference. She also is co-chair of the North Coast District Strategy Committee, a member of both the North Coast District Leadership Development Committee and the North Coast District Strategic Funding Committee, and serves on the Conference Committee on Episcopacy.
“I am very excited and honored to serve in a greater capacity in The United Methodist Church,” Green said. “It is prayer that gives me the ability to be a bold and courageous leader. I am committed to do all that God has blessed me to do in making disciples for Jesus Christ.”
The director of Nursing Services at The MetroHealth System in Cleveland, Green is involved in several ministry initiatives that link her life’s work in healthcare with helping families and communities thrive. She is passionate about serving and helping others outside the church walls.
Green earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Nursing, with a concentration in Leadership and Management, from University of Phoenix.
She and her husband Anthony are the parents of two adult daughters.
CHICAGO – United Methodist bishops, meeting in Chicago, engaged in a prayerful process to discern a way forward. At the conclusion of the discernment process, the Council of Bishops strongly approved the following motion and rationale:
Having received and considered the extensive work of the Commission on a Way Forward, the Council of Bishops will submit a report to the Special Session of the General Conference in 2019 that includes:
All three plans (The Traditionalist Plan, The One Church Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan) for a way forward considered by the Commission and the Council.
The Council’s recommendation of the One Church Plan.
An historical narrative of the Council’s discernment process regarding all three plans.
Rationale: In order to invite the church to go deeper into the journey the Council and Commission has been on, the Council will make all the information considered by the Commission and the Council of Bishops available to the delegates of the General Conference and acknowledges there is support for each of the three plans within the Council. The values of our global church are reflected in all three plans. The majority of the Council recommends the One Church Plan as the best way forward for The United Methodist Church.
Guided by the mission, vision and scope document, the bishops agreed to recommend the One Church Plan. This plan provides conferences, churches, and pastors the flexibility to uniquely reach their missional context while retaining the connectional nature of The United Methodist Church.
The One Church Plan allows for contextualization of language about human sexuality in support of the mission; and allows for central conferences, especially those in Africa, to retain their disciplinary authority to adapt the Book of Discipline and continue to include traditional language and values while fulfilling the vision of a global and multicultural church.
This plan also encourages a generous unity by giving United Methodists the ability to address different missional contexts in ways that reflect their theological convictions. The One Church Plan removes the restrictive language of the Book of Discipline and adds assurances to pastors and Conferences who due to their theological convictions cannot perform same-sex weddings or ordain self-avowed practicing homosexuals.
The Council’s discernment process was guided by the over-arching desire to strategically help the General Conference do its work and to honor the General Conference’s request for the Council to help the church find a way forward.
“With convicted humility, bishops want to be pastors and shepherds of the whole church in order to maximize the presence of a United Methodist witness in as many places in the world as possible and with as much contextual differentiation as possible,” said newly installed Council of Bishops President Ken Carter.
The bishops expressed deep appreciation for the diligent work that the 32-member Commission on a Way Forward Commission did in formulating the three plans; the Traditionalist Plan, the One Church Plan and the Connectional Conference Plan.
While the bishops recommended the One Church Plan they affirmed that the Connectional Conference Plan and the Traditionalist Plan held values that are important to the life and work of the church and will be included in the final report to the Special Session of General Conference that the bishops have called for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
Bishop Carter, who served as a one of the moderators of the Commission, said the bishops are adopting a spirit of collaboration with the Commission, and an attitude of respect for the delegations who will take up this work on behalf of the whole church.
“The Council’s prayerful deliberation reflected the diversity of the global denomination on the matter of homosexuality and many other matters. The Council affirms the strength of this diversity and our commitment to maintain the unity of the church,” Bishop Carter said.
Full details of the plans and accompanying legislative proposals will be released as soon as final editing of the entire report is completed and translated into the official languages of the General Conference. It is estimated this will be no later than July 8.
Bishop Tracy S. Malone began unveiling a ministry vision for the East Ohio Conference during her Annual Conference 2017 Episcopal Address.
“As your Episcopal Leader, I hold out a vision and a hope that you will be bold, faithful and courageous in your Christian witness and behold the power, the Holy Spirit’s power, that has been poured out upon you!” she said during her address.
The East Ohio Conference ministry vision is the result of the countless hours the bishop spent touring each district with its superintendent, meeting pastors, congregations, and faith communities.
“I saw places where ministry was strong, vibrant and viable, and places where there is new emerging ministries,” Malone said. “I also saw places and communities where there are great needs and opportunities for us to expand our witness and reach.”
The ministry vision comes after visiting and preaching in many EOC churches; following listening sessions with ministry candidates; having one-on-one conversations with laity and clergy; meeting with community leaders and partners; and seeing first-hand the needs and opportunities within the Ohio East Area.
“After much prayer and discernment, this is what God gave me as a vision,” Malone said.
The ministry vision has been shared with Conference directors, Conference Council on Ministries (CCOM) elected leadership, the Cabinet, the Extended Cabinet, and is now being shared with all East Ohio Conference laity, clergy and churches.
“While there is anxiety about the future of the Church and what might happen as a result of the Special Session of General Conference called for February 2019, the mission of the Church still stands,” Malone said. “It is our shared mission and our vision that holds us together and keeps us focused on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”