District News

Michigan Delegation Listening Session

The Michigan Conference Delegation to General Conference and North Central Jurisdictional Conference are busy preparing for the upcoming General Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 23-May 3, 2024. We continue to have discussions with each other, delegates across the connection and Michigan United Methodists.

The delegation is hosting an in-person listening session on Saturday, March 16, 2024, from 10:30 AM to Noon ET at the United Methodist Church of Cadillac (1020 E Division St, Cadillac, 49601). The delegation will offer a short presentation on the legislative process of General Conference and then listen to those present about what matters most to Michigan United Methodists. It will also be live streamed through the UMC of Cadillac Facebook page.

As the highest legislative body of The United Methodist Church, General Conference revises The Book of Discipline and The Book of Resolutions while also initiating amendments to the denomination’s constitution. Proposed legislation is in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate and available for review and download.

Lay Servant 2024 Spring Retreat

The Spring Lay Servant Retreat will be held at Cadillac UMC from 4:30pm Friday, April 19 to 4:30pm Saturday, April 20. The registration cost is $30 and includes two meals and snacks. Participants will make their overnight accommodations if applicable. Lay Servant classes are open to anyone regardless of the district in which your church resides.
Click HERE to download and print the registration flyer.
Questions? Please contact Sara Wolfsen at [email protected] or (231) 830-4092.
The online registration link is below the class descriptions.
Class Descriptions:
Introduction to Lay Ministry: The Basic Course
This course is foundational for all courses in Lay Servant Ministries. Participants are encouraged to discover and employ personal spiritual gifts as God intended and to consider the importance of exercising servant leadership, developing future leaders, remaining rooted in consistent spiritual practices, and being part of a group that holds members accountable in their discipleship. INSTRUCTOR: Pastor Jeff Swainston, Manton UMC.
Advanced Course: Accountable Discipleship
This course focuses on the concept of the household of God, Scripture as divine revelation, Wesleyan understandings of grace, and the importance of the class leader in the development of the Methodist movement. INSTRUCTOR: Pastor John Messner, Evart, Hersey and Avondale UMC.
Advanced Course: Wesleyan Heritage
This course will explore the special gifts of theology, witness, and organization that The United Methodist Church brings to the church universal, how we got where we are today, and how our distinctive emphases are still needed in the 21st-century church. INSTRUCTOR: Pastor Mike Riegler, Epworth/Brethren and Mesick UMC.
Advanced Course: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts
This course helps participants understand spiritual gifts and how the church can use them to fulfill its mission and ministry. Participants will also learn what it means to be a spiritual leader and will be equipped to lead others in exploring and using their spiritual gifts. INSTRUCTOR: Jody Pratt, Certified Lay Speaker, Middleville UMC.
Click HERE to register online

Approved 2024 Budget + 2024 Local Church Ministry Shares

The 2024 Western Waters District Budget and Ministry Shares are available in the links below. The district’s local churches have approved the 2024 district budget and ministry shares.

“With over 40 churches reporting votes, the 2024 Western Waters District Budget passed unanimously.  Thanks everyone for your input and support!” ~ DS Jodie Flessner

Letter to Churches

2024 Budget Narrative

2024 Budget 

2024 Ministry Shares by Church

Western Waters District Conference: May 13, 2023

The first Western Waters District Conference took place via Zoom on Saturday, May 13.
The purpose of this conference was to vote on the proposed 6-month budget and leadership roster for the new Western Waters District.
The recording and minutes are below along with all the voting items.


  • View the recorded Western Waters District Conference  ⇒ HERE
  • Passcode: ^it&JR3E



Leadership Roster

Mission & Ministry Grant History – Midwest District

Mission & Ministry Grant History – Northern Waters District

Fall Church Conferences

This page contains critical information for Pastors and SPRC leaders about:
1 on 1 Meetings, SPRC Meetings, and Fall Church Conferences

1 on 1 meetings will be held via Zoom. Former Midwest District pastors have in-person 1 on 1’s as part of the summer DS church visits (DS church tour and 1 on 1 schedule is below).

SPRC meetings will be via Zoom and pastors are invited to attend the SPRC meeting. Reminder emails will be sent with Zoom links for both the 1 on 1 and SPRC meetings.

Fall Church Conferences as HUB Gatherings

The plan for 2023 is to hold geographical gatherings of 6 to 12 churches on Sunday afternoons for Church Conferences (2016 Book of Discipline, paragraph 248, “Church Conferences” encourage broader participation). Offerings at the Church Conference Gatherings will be taken at each HUB for a local Ministry decided upon by consensus.

Hub timing: 2pm is the first round of church conferences; 3-4:30pm Gathering time; 4:30pm second round of church conferences

Please come to the HUB gatherings (3-4:30pm) prepared to dialogue with other leaders in your HUB about the following:
⇒ What evidence of the power of partnerships do you observe already at work in your area/community?
⇒ What action might you take to increase the power of partnerships: to increase support of each other; to augment current ministries; to start or renew ministries?  In other words – what could we do better (or even do at all) by forming partnerships with area churches?

Submitting Church Conference Forms

Please scan and email all completed/signed church conference forms as pdf documents at least 1 week prior to your 1 on 1 meeting, SPRC meeting, and church conference to Liz —scanning forms in bulk is fine, individual forms will be sorted and saved.

Church Conference forms are here: https://michiganumc.org/resources/forms/

Former Midwest District DS Church Tour + 1 on 1 Meeting Schedule

Fall Church Conference Hub schedule 

1 on 1 Meeting and SPRC Meeting Schedule

1 on 1 Questions (due 1 week prior to DS meeting)

Agenda + Instructions for guest elders conducting church conferences

2024 Nominations Form for Simplified Accountability System is on the Forms page or HERE

Church Conference Forms Checklist

Please contact Liz in the Western Waters District Office with any questions or concerns about anything on this page!
District Office: (616) 459-4503
Email: [email protected]


Western Waters District