Annual Conference Session 2015
The 2015 Great Plains Annual Conference Session was June 10-13, at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kansas. The session featured Minnesota Conference Bishop Bruce Ough and Ms. Stephanie Hixon, executive director of JustPeace. Preachings and teachings focused on unity in the midst of controversy and change. The 2015 conference agenda included voting for delegates to the 2016 General Conference, as well as the usual business of the annual conference session. Guests played a role in teaching attendees the Wesleyan way of being Christians in holy conversations.
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The Great Plains Annual Conference elected delegates and alternates for the 2016 General and Jurisdictional conferences.
Clergy members elected to the General Conference were:
- Rev. Adam Hamilton, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas
- Rev. Amy Lippoldt, Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, Newton, Kansas
- Rev. Mark Holland, Trinity Community Church , Kansas City, Kansas
- Rev. Zach Anderson, Hanscom Park United Methodist Church, Omaha, Nebraska
- Rev. Cheryl Jefferson Bell, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas
- Rev. David Livingston, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Lenexa, Kansas
Clergy members elected to the Jurisdictional Conference were:
- Rev. Junius Dotson, Saint Mark United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas
- Rev. Eduardo Boussan, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede, South Gate United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Rev. Nathan Stanton, Great Plains New Church Development coordinator, Wichita, Kansas
- Rev. Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson, First United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas
- Rev. Kibum Kim, Parsons District Superintendent
Clergy delegates voted to serve as alternates were:
- Rev. Rebecca Hjelle, First United Methodist Church, Blair, Nebraska
- Rev. Anne Gatobu, Lincoln New Hope, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Rev. Rick Just, Wichita East District Superintendent
The lay delegates elected to the General Conference were:
- Courtney Fowler, College Avenue United Methodist Church, Manhattan, Kansas
- Oliver Green, Asbury Mt. Olive United Methodist Church, Topeka, Kansas
- Shayla Jordan, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas
- Dixie Brewster, Milton United Methodist Church, Milton, Kansas
- Lisa Maupin, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Wesley Gately, First United Methodist Church, Wamego, Kansas
Lay delegates elected to the Jurisdictional Conference were:
- Keith Olsen, of Grant United Methodist Church in Grant, Nebraska
- Randall Hodgskinson, First United Methodist, Topeka, Kansas
- Esther Hay, First United Methodist Church, Waverly, Nebraska.
- Karelle Leeper, Clair Memorial United Methodist Church, Omaha, Nebraska
- Bob Aderholt, Kenesaw United Methodist Church, Kenesaw, Nebraska
- Sandy Simmons, First United Methodist Church, Leavenworth, Kansas
Lay delegates voted to serve as alternates were:
- Carl Nord, Mulvane United Methodist Church, Mulvane, Kansas
- Steve Baccus, First United Methodist Church, Minneapolis, Kansas
- Shane Hinderliter, At the Well United Methodist Church, Wichita, Kansas
Bishop Bruce Ough
As the resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church since 2012, Bishop Ough (pronounced “oh”) is the spiritual leader for United Methodists in the Dakotas and Minnesota conferences. Ough also serves as bishop for 18,500 United Methodists in 336 congregations in Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. For the next four years Ough is chair of the 59-member Connectional Table, which coordinates The United Methodist Church’s mission, ministry and resources. Bishop Ough has a keen interest in the worldwide nature of the church. A 1973 graduate of North Dakota State University, Bishop Ough received the M.Div. degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1978.
Executive director of JustPeace Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation in the UMC, co-author of The Journey: Forgiveness, Restorative Justice and Reconciliation, and trained facilitator in severely conflicted situations, Stephanie Hixon has extensive experience with strategies and processes to assist institutions and communities to foster environments of mutual respect and regard for all people. Stephanie believes local churches can be centers of relational healing and peace building for their members as well as the neighborhoods in which they reside.
As Christians we are called to a life-long journey of practicing forgiveness, justice and reconciliation in our relational lives. Stephanie's study book, published by the Women's Division of the United Methodist Church, takes restorative justice from spiritual concept to tangible, practical life skill.