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Changes ahead for Heartland District

Dear Friends in Christ of the West Michigan Conference:

I am writing to inform you of a major development occurring in our Conference. Rev. David Hills, current Superintendent of the Heartland District, is being appointed to the Stevensville UMC as Senior Pastor as of August 1, 2015. I have deep appreciation for David's faithful service not only to the Heartland District, but also to the entire West Michigan Annual Conference, and my prayers go with him into this new and exciting ministry with the good people at Stevensville United Methodist Church.

The monumental news here, however, is that I am not appointing another pastor to be the Superintendent of the Heartland District. Here are some of the details:

Please understand that we are taking this temporary action out of our earnest commitment to reduce ministry shares with increased savings to the local church. We also are mindful of the discussion of creating a new relationship with the Detroit Conference over the next couple of years, and the potential for exploring new strategic alignments between Districts and Superintendents. This is a prayerful attempt to be proactive in savings, while still anticipating the possibility of a new Michigan Annual Conference in the future.

I understand that there will be many questions as we work into this reality. As this plan emerges, we encourage you to stay tuned for more developments. Thank you for all of your faithful ministries. And may the Holy Spirit guide us in all that we do.

Grace and Peace

Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey