Great Plains Transition Team History

The Great Plains Area Transition Team, formerly the Nebraska-Kansas Episcopal Area Transition Team, was created in 2009 to guide the process of forming a new area for the Nebraska, Kansas East and Kansas West annual conferences as they joined together under the leadership of one bishop Sept. 1, 2012. Through their work, a plan was formed to not only become one episcopal area, but also to become one annual conference. This work continues as conference members and leaders live into being the Great Plains Annual Conference.

Plan of Organization - Final

The final Great Plains Plan of Organization was adopted Aug. 23, 2013. Download or read the plan online.

Frequently Asked Questions

The documents below list answers to questions submitted at listening sessions for the Plan of Organization for the Great Plains Conference. Each document is labeled by the event at which the questions were submitted. The PDF files are indexed to aid in navigating the documents.

FAQ IV - June 13, 2013 post Kansas East & Nebraska ACs

FAQ III - May 30, 2013 post Kansas West AC

FAQ II - Feb. 10 Listening Session/Webcast

FAQ I - 2013 Joint Called Clergy Session, Kearney, NE

Great Plains Transition Timeline:


In 2013, the Great Plains Transition Team continued its work, creating a Plan of Organization to guide the work of the new Great Plains Conference. At a Uniting Conference Aug. 22-23, members of the Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska United Methodist conferences discussed, amended and ultimately adopted the plan.

Transition Team Minutes:


The transition team refined its proposal, presented it to the Joint Called Clergy Session in January and conducted additional listening sessions early in 2012 in preparation for the annual conference sessions.

At the 2012 annual conference sessions, each conference voted on the proposal. The votes were announced June 9 at the Kansas East and Nebraska annual conference sessions. The conferences voted by 70-percent or more to move forward with creating one new annual conference by Jan. 1, 2014.

View reports and videos prepared by the transition team and its sub-teams.

Transition Team Minutes:

Report to Joint Called Clergy Session January 2012:

Reports for Annual Conference 2012:


Disaster Response Committees (of all three conferences)

Joint Distributing Team

Mission & Justice Dream Team

Racial/Ethnic Dream Team

Small-Membership Church Dream Team

Writing Team

Young Adult Dream Team

Youth Dream Team



Through its work, the transition team determined that the best way forward was to create one new annual conference for the area. The plan was announced in a webcast in March 2011. The "Great Plans for the Great Plains" concepts were first released during the webcast.

March 13, 2011, Announcement:

A five-finger ballot was taken, showing support for continuing to move toward the creation of one new conference for the great plains.


The Transition Team reported on its work at the 2010 annual conference sessions and continued to meet and discern God's call for the Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska annual conferences as they came together as one episcopal area. Conference members were given a handout with three questions for conference members to respond to during the three conference sessions.

Mission Field report


In September, the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops announced it would comply with this mandate by combining the Kansas and Nebraska areas, which encompassed the Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska annual conferences.

Follow the links below for related information:

Episcopal area reduction announcement transcript September 18, 2009

Kansas Area episcopal reduction transcript September 19, 2009

SCJ Episcopal Areas Study from the Lewis Center for Leadership

A 21-member Nebraska-Kansas Episcopal Area Transition Team was named by Nebraska Bishop Ann B. Sherer-Simpson and Kansas Bishop Scott J. Jones. This team began meeting in November 2009 and presented reports to the 2010 and 2011 annual conference sessions. Throughout the process, laity and clergy in all three conferences were afforded opportunities to provide feedback on the team's work.


The General Conference adopted legislation to reduce the number of bishops in the United States where the church is not growing to allow for the election of bishops in areas where the church is growing, such as Africa. The South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops determined it would make its decision early in the quadrennium to allow affected episcopal areas to have the maximum amount of time to make plans for the future.