Special Message from Bishop Burgos – Superintendency Coverage for 2023-24
January 27, 2023 / By Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez
Editor's Note: The following letter was emailed to clergy and laity in the Upper New York Conference on Jan. 27, 2023 on behalf of Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
Dear United Methodists in Upper New York,
Grace and peace from Jesus Christ be with you.
As our Book of Discipline reminds us, the ministry of the district superintendent is “an extension of the superintending role of the bishop within the annual conference.” (Book of Discipline ¶403.2) The collaborative ministry of the bishop and district superintendents provides crucial guidance to pastors and congregations living out our shared mission in the community. This makes the appointment of district superintendents among the most consequential decisions made by a bishop. It is a duty every bishop, including me, undertakes only after much prayer and consideration.
The Upper New York (UNY) Conference is blessed with the leadership of nine district superintendents. These women and men serve Christ and the United Methodist Church with passion, compassion, and great wisdom. In my short time as bishop, I have been impressed with their gifts and encouraged by their welcome. This is a great team of leaders.
At the end of June, three team members, the Rev. Nola Anderson, the Rev. Abel Roy, and the Rev. Ted Anderson, will complete their full eight-year terms of service. (The normal term of service for a district superintendent is six years. For missional reasons, this team can be extended for an additional one to two years).
I thank God for these three amazing transformational spiritual leaders. They have faithfully served as superintendents with integrity, grace, and courage. They effectively led the Conference through unprecedented challenges and made significant progress in their districts. In all, their commitment to Christ, the mission, and The United Methodist Church was evident. Please join me in thanking them for their servant leadership and praying for them as they journey through this season of transition.
As we continue moving forward, and after much prayer and consultation with the Cabinet and other Conference leaders, I have decided not to fill these three district superintendency vacancies and move forward with a cabinet composed of the six remaining district superintendents. Effective July 1, each district superintendent will serve two districts. The current number of districts will remain the same. Later in the spring, I will share more information about UNY District coverage assignments for 2023-24.
The reasons for my decision are several, including:
- This new configuration best uses our human and financial Conference resources. We will not need to pull an effective pastor out of a local church to serve as a district superintendent. We will also be able to redeploy the financial resources now used to support a district superintendent in new ways closer to the local church.
- We have been living into new collaborative leadership models, making this change both possible and effective. Upper New York’s District Superintendents have worked collaboratively for several years, leveraging one another’s wisdom, skills, and gifts. They also worked to develop team leadership at the District and Regional level, tapping the gifts and resources of pastors and congregational leaders.
- This new configuration of leaders will provide the focus and flexibility needed to navigate the “in-between times” we are facing as we continue navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, a season of disaffiliations, and the upcoming General Conference in 2024.
The UNY Cabinet and I believe that this new cabinet configuration is the next faithful step to continue moving forward with our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I will work with the UNY Cabinet and the rest of the staff team to ensure that our pastors and congregations are cared for and have the resources to serve effectively in the community.
Let’s continue holding one another in prayer and loving our neighbors with the healing love of Christ. In doing so, we transform the world.
Together in mission,
Bishop Héctor A. Burgos Núñez
The United Methodist Church
Serving the Upper New York Area