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Ramkota Inn Bismarck, North Dakota June 6-8, 2013

The Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church

Table of Contents 1

Welcome from Bishop Ough


Daily Schedule for Wednesday, June 5


Daily Schedule for Thursday, June 6


Daily Schedule for Friday, June 7


Daily Schedule for Saturday, June 8




Meet Sue Nilson Kibbey


Workshop Presenters


Opening Worship


Celebrating the Saints with Historic Questions Service


Baptismal Remembrance and Fixing of Appointments Service


Celebration of Saints Memoirs


Celebration of Call and Faithful Service of Retiring Pastors

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“To those who are called, loved by God and kept safe by Jesus Christ: May you have more and more mercy, peace and love.”

- Jude 1b-2


Char and I are eagerly looking forward to our first Dakotas Annual Conference session in Bismarck, North Dakota. We thank you for the hospitality you have extended to us and anticipate the many Holy Spirit breakthroughs God has in store for us together in our kingdom work. The Extended Cabinet and I have identified four strategic pathways to guide our work of walking alongside the congregations of the Dakotas Conference as we seek to more fully and robustly “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” These pathways are: ∙ Developing bold, spiritual, missional leaders, ∙ Equipping vital, missional congregations, ∙ Extending our missional impact throughout our communities and the world, and ∙ Generating new missional resources. Each of these pathways will be explored at one of the annual conference sessions during this quadrennium. Our theme this year is “Unleashed: Bold, Spirit Leaders!” I have asked the Reverend Sue Nilson Kibbey to be our conference speaker. Sue is a gifted and highly respected teacher and practitioner in the area of developing missional leaders. As a part of developing our theme, I also invite the conference members to join with me in an Unleashing New Life Prayer movement. There will also be much to celebrate at this annual conference session: ∙ the miraculous outpouring of God’s abundant grace through the $100,000 offering for The Bakken Oil Rush Ministry; ∙ the faithful ministries of our retiring pastors and those who have joined the communion of saints; ∙ those coming to be commissioned and ordained as new leaders and covenant partners; Welcome to Bismarck as we gather for holy conferencing!


Conference Schedule UNLEASHED: Bold, Spirit Leaders

Wednesday, June 5 Location Guide FIRST FLOOR



Dakotas Ballroom

Missouri Ballroom

McCabe UMC

Dakotas Ballroom Lobby


Room 1234 (Courtyard Area)

Governor’s Room


See Registration Desk



(Dakota Ballroom Lobby)

9:00 AM Pre Conference Meetings (Scheduled locations available at the Registration Desk) 12:00 PM Historical Society Luncheon 1:00 PM Registration Begins - Continues till 5:00 PM 1:30 PM Workshop 1 “Building a Culture of Call in the Local Church” Workshop 2 “Covenant Discipleship in the Wesleyan Model” Workshop 3 “Developing a Culture of Call to be in Mission with Others” 315 PM Workshop 1 “Building a Culture of Call in the Local Church” Workshop 2 “Covenant Discipleship in the Wesleyan Model” Workshop 3 “Developing a Culture of Call to be in Mission with Others” 5:00 PM Lay Servant Ministries Dinner 7:00 PM Ordination Rehearsal 7:00 PM New Member Orientation

You are invited to a Barbeque at Open Door Community Center 5 – 7 PM 1120 S. 12th St. Bismarck Grilled hamburgers, baked beans, coleslaw, fresh fruit, and bars Free will offering will be collected 2

Thursday, June 6 8:00 AM Registration (continues all day) 6:00 - 9:00 AM Blueprint for Wellness 7:00 AM - 8:30 PM Clergy Photos 9:00 AM Opening Worship with Communion Bishop Ough preaching 10:30 AM Official Opening of Annual Conference to Call to Order of the 20th Session Official Opening of Annual Conference Organizational Resolutions Common Table Report 12:00 PM Lunch Break Extension Ministry Luncheon Clergy Spouse Luncheon 1:30 PM Episcopal Address by Bishop Bruce R. Ough Break - Coffee, Tea and Water available 2:45 PM Clergy Session 2:45 PM Laity Session 6:30 PM Celebration Banquet Celebration of Leaders in Ministry Celebration of Miracle Offering 8:30 PM Reception for Retiring Clergy


Friday, June 7 6:30 AM United Methodist Men Breakfast 6:30 AM United Methodist Women Breakfast 8:00 AM Celebrating the Saints with Historic Questions Service - Rev. Rich Zeck Preaching Report on Miracle Offering 9:30 AM Teaching Session One with Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey 10:30 AM Break 10:45 AM Plenary Streams of Justice Award Corporate Session of the Foundation Report From Dakotas United Methodist Foundation Corporate Session of Board of Pensions Presentation of Consent Calendar Presentation and Vote on Constitutional Admendments Proposed Apportionment Method Discussion Luncheon for Retired Clergy Noon Ordinand Luncheon Seminary Luncheons 1:30 PM Teaching Session Two with Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey 2:45 PM Break 3:00 PM Plenary Proposed Apportionment Method Discussion and Voting 2014 Budget Presentation and Discussion Annual Conference Site Proposal Youth Ministry Awards 5:00 PM Dinner Recess 7:00 PM Ordination Service - Bishop Bruce Ough preaching at McCabe UMC Offering for Leadership Development Reception for Ordinands following the service


Saturday, June 8 8:00 AM Baptismal Remembrance and Fixing of Appointments Service 9:00 AM Plenary Report from Dakota Wesleyan University Consent Calendar Vote Vote on 2014 Budget Business as needed TBA Break 11:45 AM Closing Benediction

Location Guide FIRST FLOOR



Dakotas Ballroom

Missouri Ballroom

McCabe UMC

Dakotas Ballroom Lobby


Room 1234 (Courtyard Area)

Governor’s Room


See Registration Desk



(Dakota Ballroom Lobby)


Welcome! REV. GREG KROGER Welcome to the 20th session of the Dakotas Annual Conference. We gather as lay and clergy leaders of the United Methodist witness in the Dakotas. That witness is grounded in the power and example of Jesus Christ who calls us to follow cultivating spiritual vitality, reaching new people, and healing a broken world. This is a time for us to be encouragers of one another in this witness. In all the aspects of our conferencing, may we experience this as a holy time and a means of grace. From elements stirring and sublime to those simple and routine opportunity abounds for us to grow in our capacity as leaders for our world transforming movement. Expressing that capacity, we prepare to re-enter the world of our communities and churches, “Unleashed: Bold, Spirit Leaders!” Rev. Greg Kroger Director of Ministries

REV. KEITH NELSON On behalf of the congregations and the United Methodists ministries in the Sakakawea District of the Dakotas Conference, welcome to Annual Conference! We are overjoyed with your presence and are expecting that each of you will be part of a miracle for the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry. Through this gathering, in all that we do and say, may each and all find deeper relationships, greater wisdom, wider understanding and a renewed sense of God’s call in us as the Body of Christ. Rev. Keith Nelson Sakakawea District Superintendent

REV. RYAN MUTZENBERGER Welcome to the 20th session of the Dakotas Annual Conference! I am so excited for all that God will do with us during our sessions of equipping, visioning and holy conferencing as we gather together around the theme of “Unleashed: Bold, Spirit Leaders!” May our time together be filled with inspired vision, renewed connections and new learning as we are equipped and unleashed as bold, spirit leaders to the Dakotas and the world so that we can make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world! Rev. Ryan Mutzenberger Chair, Dakotas Annual Conference Sessions Committee


Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey is the Director of Connectional Ministries for the West Ohio Conference. Rev. Kibbey formerly served as Executive Pastor at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in Tipp City. Her 22 years in ministry clearly demonstrates an exceptional record of success in leading and growing missional based ministry, lay servant leadership and congregational development in the local church. Rev. Kibbey is the creator of Ministry by Strengths, which equips churches to deploy staff and unpaid servants into ministry. She has served as a trainer, consultant and coach to conferences and clergy gatherings across the country. With over twenty years of service in church ministry, Nilson Kibbey specializes in leadership development and “breakthrough” prayer initiatives. She is the author of books such as Ultimately Responsible: When You’re In Charge of Igniting the Ministry (Abingdon Press, 2006); Transformation Journal: Journey Through the Bible in a Year (Abingdon Press, 2007); and Transformation Journal: A Daily Walk in the Word (Abingdon Press, 2008). Rev. Kibbey holds a Master of Divinity degree, is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, and a clergy member of the West Ohio Annual Conference. She is an adjunct faculty member at United Theological Seminary in ministry leadership.

Teaching and Workshop Leaders



Workshop Presenters JULIE PETERS Julie Peters has served as the Associate Director of Student Ministries at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection for the past 7 years. Julie has over 30 years of experience in student ministry. She is passionate about providing avenues for students to become committed, authentic followers of Jesus Christ and also about raising up the next generation of Christian leaders and vocational ministers. Julie has devoted much of her time at Resurrection to developing new ministries, especially to the MAC (Ministry As a Career) Track Ministry which is a program designed to help students discern and answer God’s call into ministry. Julie is also very passionate about mission work, domestic and international. Julie’s husband, Dave, is a wonderful and supportive part of her life and ministry. She also has three adult children, one teenage foster daughter, 1 granddaughter, and 2 dogs. She loves spending her free time with family, taking road trips in her jeep wrangler and serving on the mission field in South America and Africa.

STEVEN W. MANSKAR, D. MIN. Steven W. Manskar, D. Min. is a clergy member of the Minnesota Conference of The United Methodist Church. He was a pastor for ten years until 1999 when he joined the staff of the Leadership Ministries Division of the General Board of Discipleship as Director of Wesleyan Leadership. Steve leads workshops and seminars on Covenant Discipleship groups, Small Group Ministry in the Wesleyan Tradition, and Wesleyan Leadership, Theology and Practice. He leads two annual events: The Wesley Pilgrimage in England and Wesleyan Leadership Conference. Steve is the author of Accountable Discipleship: Living in God’s Household, A Perfect Love: Understanding John Wesley’s “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection”, and A Disciple’s Journal: Daily Prayer, Bible Reading and Discipleship. He is also editor of the monthly e-newsletter, “Covenant Discipleship Connection.” Steve lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Gina, and son, Noah.

CHARISSA BREDOW SHAWCROSS Charissa Bredow Shawcross is a Church and Community Worker with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church serving as Mission Interpreter in Residence for the denomination’s North Central Jurisdiction, a position she assumed in late October 2012. Charissa, a nurse practitioner, was previously engaged in health ministries serving the homeless in downtown Detroit. She was also director of a United Methodist-sponsored free clinic for the uninsured. Born in Michigan, she earned her Master’s of Science/Nursing in adult health from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1993. She has worked as adjunct faculty at the college level, as a nurse practitioner in advanced cardiovascular services, and as a parish nurse with Central United Methodist Church in Detroit. She was also a nurse practitioner with Detroit’s NOAH (Networking, Organizing, and Advocating for the Health of the Homeless) Project before becoming a missionary.


Charissa and her husband Scott are the parents of Cameron and Megan, and the family attends Newburg United Methodist Church in Livonia, Michigan.

Opening Worship

Thursday, June 6, 9:00 AM

*GATHERING SONGS—”Alive Again”, “Forever Reign” WELCOME AND INSTRUCTIONS *OPENING SONG—”O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” *OPENING PRAYER SCRIPTURE READINGS—Lamentations 3:19-24 SERMON—Keep a Grip on Hope, Bishop Bruce R. Ough TIME OF PRAYER AROUND TABLES Please take 5-10 minutes to offer prayers with those around your tables. When you hear music playing, you’ll have another couple of minutes to close with prayer and the Lord’s Prayer. INVITATION TO HOLY COMMUNION CONFESSION AND PARDON *THE PEACE All exchange signs and words of God’s peace and reconciliation. *THE GREAT THANKSGIVING BREAKING OF THE BREAD SHARING THE BREAD AND CUP Songs—”Your Great Name”, “All the Poor and Powerless”, “By Our Love” There will be six Communion serving stations throughout the room: two in the front, one on each side, and two in the back. When serving teams are in position, all are invited to go to their nearest station to receive the bread and the cup. Gluten-free elements will be available at each station. PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION *SONG—”Like a Lion” *BENEDICTION AND SENDING FORTH *Indicates all who are able are invited to stand.

Ministry of Worship Preacher and Presiding Minister

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area

Worship Assistant Rev. Laura Walters Communion Serving Teams

Bismarck-area pastors and lay members

Worship Leaders and Musicians

Conference Worship Band


The Order of Service for a

Celebration of the Saints with Historic Questions

Friday, June 7, 8:00 AM

ENTRANCE GATHERING *CALL TO WORSHIP *HYMN 555—”Forward Through the Ages” PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE PRAYER TIME OF REMEMBRANCE** As the memorial video plays, family members and friends of individuals being remembered are invited to stand. Complete remembrances can be found on pages 19-25 of this booklet. *HYMN 711—”For All the Saints “(vv. 1-2, 4, & 6) SCRIPTURE READING—Nehemiah 1:1-3, 2:16-18 SERMON—”You See the Trouble That We’re In” *HYMN 413—”A Charge to Keep I Have” Candidates answering Historic Questions come forward during the hymn. PRESENTATION OF THE CANDIDATES INTO PROVISIONAL MEMBERSHIP Clay Michael Lundberg, Rob Salmonson, Peggy Stempson QUESTIONING OF THE CANDIDATES PRAYER FOR THE CANDIDATES PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES INTO FULL MEMBERSHIP Amy Marie Atkins, Thomas E. Bowsher, Mark Walter Britton, Mark Jerald Gronseth, Gwen Mader, Sara Lamberson Nelson **Those rememberd during worship at Annual Conference are: clergy who are members of the Dakotas Conference at the time of their death, spouses of clergy members, and laity who have served on the Conference staff. For planning and publication purposes, those whose deaths occurred after April 30th will be remembered at next year’s Annual Conference.



*HYMN 396—”O Jesus, I Have Promised” SENDING FORTH *DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING (Carmina Gadelica, British Methodist Church) GOING FORTH *Indicates all who are able are invited to stand.

Ministry of Worship Presiding Minister Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area Preacher Rev. Rich Zeck, First United Methodist Church - Fargo Worship Assistants Rev. Lori Broschat, Cavalier - Trinity and First United Methodist Churches Raenelle Capes, Larimore Yoked Parish

Bakken Oil Rush Miracle Offering Rev. Bruce R. Ough, Bishop for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area calls for an $100,000 Miracle Offering for the Bakken Oil Rush Ministry. The Offering will be received on Thursday evening, June 6 at the Celebration Banquet. The offering will be used to launch a multi-year missional thrust in the Bakken Oil Region of western North Dakota. “I believe in the miraculous power that is released when we put our love for God and neighbor into action. As the author of I John writes, Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another; if we love one another, God lives in us, and God’s love is perfected in us.. (I John 4:11-12), “---Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church.

Offering for Leadership Development The offering on Friday, June 7, 2013, will be taken during the 7:00pm Commissioning and Ordination service at McCabe United Methodist Church. This offering will be administered by the Board of Ordained Ministry to support leadership development in the Dakotas (vocation events, internships, seminary scholarships, debt reduction, etc).


A Service of

Baptismal Remembrance,

Introduction of Extended Cabinet, and the Fixing of Appointments Saturday, June 8, 8:00 AM ENTRANCE GATHERING SONGS—”Alive Again”, “Like a Lion” WORSHIP INSTRUCTIONS *SONG—”Come, Thou Fount” *OPENING PRAYER PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE INTRODUCTION OF EXTENDED CABINET SCRIPTURE READING—Mark 16:9-15 CABINET REPORT (Roy Caudill, Dean of the Cabinet) INTRODUCTION TO BAPTISMAL REAFFIRMATION (Bishop Ough) RENUNCIATION OF SIN AND PROFESSION OF FAITH THANKSGIVING OVER THE WATER BAPTISMAL REMEMBRANCE The bishop invites those assisting at the fonts to take a pitcher of water and pour it into their font. As songs are sung, the people come to one of the font stations where water is used symbolically in ways that cannot be interpreted as baptism, and a worship leader says: Remember your baptism and be thankful. People’s response: Amen. SONGS — “10,000 Reasons”; “Your Great Name”; “Hosanna” When all have come forward and returned to their seats, the bishop then addresses those reaffirming the Baptismal Covenant. THANKSGIVING FIXING OF APPOINTMENTS As each name is read the pastor is invited to come forward and remain until all new appointments are read from that district. APOSTOLIC CHARGE (Bishop Bruce R. Ough) (The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989) SENDING FORTH *SONG—”Trust and Obey” *DISMISSAL WITH BLESSING MUSIC FOR TRANSITION *Indicates all who are able are invited to stand.


Ministry of Worship Presiding Minister Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area Worship Assistants Rev. Roy Caudill Rev. Randy Cross Rev. Greg Kroger Rev. Keith Nelson Rev. Marilyn Spurrell

Rev. Dr. Norman Shawchuck 1935-2012 The Rev. Norman Shawchuck, 77, of Fargo, N.D., formerly of Elgin, N.D., died Sunday, May 20, 2012, at his daughter’s home. A memorial service was held on Friday, June 1, 2012, at Zion Lutheran Church in Elgin. Norman L. Shawchuck was born on May 13, 1935, to Aleck and Ava (Brown) Shawchuck. He spent his childhood on the family farm south of Heil, N.D. After graduating from Elgin High School in 1952, he worked as a surveyor in North Dakota and Illinois. He earned a diploma in biblical studies at Lakewood Park Bible School in Devils Lake, N.D., where he also met the love of his life, Verna Mae Dalin. They married on Jan. 19, 1956.

Norman served the Mott, N.D., Assembly of God Church for four years and ClevelandWoodworth-Crystal Springs, N.D., United Methodist Churches (1965-1968). He earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and religion from Jamestown College in 1968. During his graduate studies, he served a United Methodist parish in Davis Junction, Ill. (1968-1969). He earned a master’s of divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary in 1970.

He was admitted to the North Dakota Conference as a probationary member in 1969, and ordained elder and admitted into full connection in 1971. He served at the Turtle Mountain Counseling and Rehabilitation Center on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, N.D., while pursuing his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. Subsequent appointments included a position on the area program staff in the Dakotas (1975-1980); director of spiritual formation based in Indianapolis, Ind.; and lead pastor of a local parish in Michigan City, Ind. Norman received a special appointment allowing him to teach, write, and consult. He served as adjunct professor at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., and was a full-time professor at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Celebration of the Saints


Norman authored numerous books and traveled extensively, consulting with local churches and national organizations in conflict management, leadership and spiritual formation. One of his most exciting assignments was training Navy chaplains in conflict management at naval stations on the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, and Okinawa. He retired in 1997 and was recognized as Jubilee Clergy in 2006. Since October 2011 he resided at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Kay and Ahmed Abdullah. Norman is survived by his wife, Verna; three daughters, Carita (and husband David Olson), Melody (and husband Paul Taralson), and Kay (and husband Ahmed Abdullah), all of Fargo; three grandsons; one sister, Jacque (and husband David Bauer); four nephews; and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and two siblings: Jimmy and Helen Marie.


Rev. Ben Zimmerman 1918-2012 The Rev. Ben Zimmerman, 94, of Ramona, S.D., died Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, at Bethel Lutheran Home in Madison, S.D. A Masonic service was held on Monday, Aug. 27, 2012, at Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison, with private family burial at Ramona Cemetery. A memorial service was held on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison. Benjamin Zimmerman was born on March 20, 1918, at the family farm near Lehr, N.D., to Konrad and Christina (Maier) Zimmermann. He married Ida Rachel Kranzler on April 2, 1939. One son, Donald, was born on June 6, 1949. Ben received degrees from Carleton College, Rochester Theological School, and the University of North Dakota. He was employed as a school teacher, counselor, pastor, and retirement home administrator. Ben and Ida operated B & I Gifts in Ramona for 25 years and spent 10 years as caretakers of Camp Lakodia on Lake Herman near Madison. Ben served Baptist churches including Randolph, Minn. (1942-1952), New Britain, Conn. (1952-1955), Viborg (1955-1961), North Rapid (1961-1963), and Ramona First Baptist (1963-1965) before serving the Ramona Methodist Church (1965-1968). In 1968 he transferred to the South Dakota Conference of The United Methodist Church and was admitted on trial as a deacon. He was admitted into full connection and elected elder in 1970. Ben continued serving at Ramona and Oldham, as well as at Madison as assistant pastor, until he retired in 1983. He was recognized as Jubilee Clergy in 1994. The Zimmermans traveled extensively to the Holy Land and Greece, and throughout the United States and Canada. Ben was active in many organizations including Kiwanis, Lions Club, Masons, Eastern Star, and El Riad Shrine. He was a Boy Scout leader for 25 years, organized fund drives to build hospitals in Spearfish and Viborg, and was a founder of the Interlakes Community Action Program (ICAP). Ben also was a carpenter, amateur astronomer, health food advocate, and jack-of-all trades. Survivors include one son, Dr. Donald Zimmerman, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and several nieces and nephews. Ben was preceded in death by his wife, Ida, in 2008; his parents; seven brothers; and two sisters.

Rev. Paul Custer 1927-2012 The Rev. Paul Custer, 85, of Lenexa, Kan., died Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. A memorial service was held on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, at Valley View United Methodist Church in Overland Park, Kan., with the Rev. Dr. Connie Wilson officiating. His remains were cremated. Paul James Custer was born on April 11, 1927, to Earl and Jenny Custer in Everly, Iowa. He grew up in Rowena, S.D., and attended high school at Valley Springs and then Washington High School in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he graduated in 1945. He married Joy Johnson on June 1, 1951. He graduated from Sioux Falls College with a bachelor of arts degree in 1952 and taught school in Rapid City, S.D. Paul attended North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, earning a master’s in religious education in 1962 and a bachelor of divinity degree in 1965. He also took courses in mental health and drug and alcohol abuse.


He was admitted on trial in the South Dakota Conference of the Methodist Church and elected deacon in 1963. In 1965 he was admitted into full connection and ordained an elder. Paul served Methodist and United Methodist churches in the South Dakota Conference at Egan-Riverview (1962-1963), Hartford (1963-1968), Parker-Brothersfield (Jan. 15, 1968-1974), Wessington Springs-Lane (1974-1981), Colton-Chester (1981-1987), Onida-Agar (1987-1989), and Wagner-Delmont (1989-1993). He retired in 1993. He was known for his love of music. He had an outstanding voice and sang many solos. Paul is survived by his wife of 61 years, Joy; one daughter, Carol Avery (and husband Tony), of Houston, Texas; two sons: Mark Custer and Bret Custer (and wife Katie), all of Overland Park, Kan.; three grandchildren; and one brother, the Rev. Earle Custer, of Dover, N.H.

Rev. Grant Piehl 1943-2012 The Rev. Grant Piehl, 69, of Casselton, N.D., passed away on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at his home. Funeral services were held Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, at Casselton United Methodist Church. Burial was in the Casselton Cemetery. Grant John Piehl was born on April 15, 1943, in Gaylord, Minn., to Lester and Olive (West) Piehl. He grew up in the Hector, Minn., area and graduated from Hector High School in 1961. He then attended Vennard College and Spring Arbor College in Spring Arbor, Mich., earning a bachelor of arts degree in 1966. He continued his education at Asbury Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., graduating with a master of divinity degree in 1969. In 1968 he was elected deacon and admitted on trial to the North Dakota Conference of The United Methodist Church. He was ordained elder and admitted into full connection in the North Dakota Conference in 1970. Grant served United Methodist Churches in North Dakota at Kulm-Jud (1969-1973), Lansford-Donnybrook-Maxbass (19731976), Bowbells-Kenmare-Coteau (1976-1982), Langdon-Hannah (1982-1983), Langdon (1983-1992), Streeter-MedinaTappen (1992-2002), Groton-Conde-Andover (2002-2005), and Napoleon-Lehr (2005-2008). He retired in 2008 after 40 years of service. Grant married the love of his life, Eileen Carol Jonas, on Jan. 29, 1966. They moved to the Jonas family farm near Amenia, N.D., when he retired. He loved playing with his grandchildren, pastoring churches, collecting 1/64 tractors, reading about North Dakota history, and visiting with his children. He is remembered as a gentle giant who was kind, loving and humble. Grant is survived by his wife, Eileen, of Amenia; four children: Latha Pederson (and husband Larry), of St. Michael, Minn., David, of Minneapolis, Joel (and wife Linda), of Jamestown, N.D., and Jeff (and wife Heather), of Clear Lake, Minn.; 9 grandchildren; and two sisters: Carrie Tyner, of Kansas City, Mo., and Nancy Mabuce (and husband Steve), of St. Louis, Mo. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Lorrie Berntson; and two brothers-in-law: Paul Berntson and Don Tyner.


Rev. Orland Sloat 1932-2013 The Rev. Orland Sloat, 80, of West Fargo, N.D., died on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at his home. Memorial services were held on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at West Funeral Home Chapel in West Fargo. Burial was at Gettysburg, S.D. Orland Samuel Sloat was born on June 23, 1932, to Roy and Esther Belle (Hawes) Sloat in Gettysburg, S.D. He grew up on the Adeline Sloat homestead north of Gettysburg and attended North Lowell rural school and Gettysburg High School. In 1951, Orland enrolled at South Dakota State College in Brookings, graduating in 1954. He then went to seminary at Garrett Biblical Institute (GarrettEvangelical Theological Seminary). In 1957, he married Lyla Elaine Melloon. They had two sons and adopted two daughters. They later divorced. Orland was ordained deacon and admitted on trial in the South Dakota Conference of the Methodist Church in 1955. He was elected elder and admitted into full connection in 1958. He served at the following Methodist and United Methodist churches in South Dakota: Northville-Mellette (1958-1961), Gregory-Fairmont-Iona (1961-1963), Britton-Langford (1963-1965), Dell Rapids-Garretson (1965-1968), Selby-Herreid (1968-1970), Selby (Nov. 15, 1970-1972), Selby-Lowry UCC (1971-1972), Beresford First-Beresford Zion (1972-1976), Highmore-Harrold (1976-1981), Highmore (Jan. 1-June 30, 1982), Bruce-Volga PC (1984-1988, less than full-time while on disability leave), and Bowdle-Tolstoy (1988-1994). He retired in 1994 and moved to the Fargo area. On June 24, 2000, Orland married Edith Lockwood in West Fargo. He was recognized as Jubilee Clergy in 2005. Orland is survived by his wife, Edith, of West Fargo; two sons: Philip (and wife Kelly), of Tekamah, Neb., and Dayton (and wife Michelle), of Fontana, Calif.; one daughter, Barbara Jean Greeley, of Hendricks, Minn.; two step-daughters: Leona Dodge, of Washougal, Wash., and Lucy Martinek, of Topeka, Kan.; three step-sons: Marvin Lockwood (and wife Teena), of Moorhead, Minn., Eugene Lockwood, of Fargo, and Calvin Lockwood (and wife Kathy), of West Fargo; seven grandchildren; 10 stepgrandchildren; nine step-great-grandchildren; one sister, Mirth Westburg (and husband Gale), of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Rachel; and a sister, Erleen.

Rev. Dwayne Knight 1922-2013 The Rev. Dwayne Knight, 91, died Sunday, April 14, 2013, at Bailey Community Hospice Center in St. Augustine, Fla. A memorial service was held on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at Shores United Methodist Church in St. Augustine, with the Rev. Randy Strickland officiating. Another memorial service is planned for Saturday, July 20, 2013, at the Mitchell First United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Boyd Blumer officiating. Interment of his cremains, along with those of his late wife, Fern, will take place that day in Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Dwayne Floyd Knight was born at Thomas, S.D., on Feb. 15, 1922, to Floyd Leslie and Harriet “Hattie” Elizabeth (Smith) Knight. He was the oldest of four children in a musical family. Dwayne sang his first solo at age 3 in the Thomas Methodist Episcopal Church and began piano lessons at age 8. He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Thomas High School in 1939. Dwayne studied classical piano at McPhail Conservatory in Minneapolis for three years and then transferred to Huron College when he felt called to the ministry. From 1942 to 1944, he served as student supply pastor at the Methodist churches at Cavour, Richland, and Pearl Creek, S.D. In 1944 he earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Huron College.


On June 20, 1944, Dwayne married Fern Beall at Richland Methodist Church. They moved to New Jersey, where Dwayne attended Drew Theological Seminary. He served the Anderson Changewater, and Port Golden Methodist churches in western New Jersey, and graduated from Drew with highest honors in 1948. Dwayne was admitted on trial to the South Dakota Conference of The Methodist Church in 1943 and ordained a deacon and full member in 1946. He was elected elder in 1948. Together the Knights served Methodist and United Methodist churches in the South Dakota Conference at Conde (19481952), Miller-Greenleaf (1952-1955), Brookings (1955-1960), Mitchell (1960-1969), Aberdeen First (1969-1972), Lead-Terraville (1972-Dec. 31, 1981), and Lead Trinity (Jan. 1, 1982-1984). Dwayne retired in 1984. During his ministry Dwayne served an evangelistic mission to South America in 1958, spending a month in Panama, Peru, Chile, and Bolivia. He directed numerous junior high youth camps at Lake Poinsett. At Mitchell he served on the Dakota Wesleyan University board of trustees, the Methodist Hospital board of directors, and the board for Wesley Acres. He also chaired the conference Board of Ministerial Training. Dakota Wesleyan University presented Dwayne with an honorary doctor of divinity degree in 1961. In his retirement, Dwayne tuned pianos professionally and directed the choir at Sturgis United Methodist Church for 11 years. He was recognized as Jubilee Clergy in 1992. In 1995 Dwayne and Fern moved to St. Augustine and enjoyed their retirement years in the Shores area. He had been a resident of the Allegro, a Florida senior living community. He is survived by his daughter, Noelle Farris (and husband Bill), of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; a daughter-in-law, Valerie Knight Blomquist, of Casco, Maine; five grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; a brother, Leighton Knight (and wife Nila), of Beresford, S.D., and one sister, Marian Trumm, of Eureka, S.D. Dwayne was preceded in death by Fern, his wife of 67 years, in 2011; two sons: Philip in 1967 and David in 1987; and one sister, Janet Shelsta.

CLERGY SPOUSES Helen Vessey 1921-2012 Helen Vessey, 90, of Brookings, S.D., widow of the Rev. Dr. Robert Vessey, died Monday, June 11, 2012, at the United Living Community in Brookings. Memorial services were held on Friday, June 15, 2012, at the First United Methodist Church in Brookings. Helen Louise McConnell was born on Nov. 14, 1921, in East Lynn, Ill., to Walter Alexander and Edith Waymouth (Luxton) McConnell. She grew up on a farm and graduated from East Lynn High School in 1939. She attended secretarial school in Danville, Ill. From 1944 to 1950, Helen was a secretary at the Chicago Temple Methodist Church. She met a young seminary student named Robert Vessey and sent him an anonymous Valentine. It took nearly six months before he realized who had sent the card. The friendship turned to romance and eventually to a 61-year marriage, beginning on June 16, 1950, in East Lynn, Ill., and ending with Robert’s death on Feb. 20, 2012. Bob and Helen served the Methodist Church in Springfield, Ill. (1950-1951), and Methodist and United Methodist churches in South Dakota at Belle Fourche, Hurley-Davis-Viborg, Sioux Falls Asbury, Mitchell, Yankton, Gayville-Volin, and Spearfish. The family lived in Huron, S.D., while Bob served as district superintendent for the Northern District of the South Dakota Conference of the Methodist Church from 1964 to 1969. Helen was a member of the hospital auxiliary in every town in which they lived. She enjoyed being around people of all ages. She held jobs in a nursing home in Mitchell and the hospital nursery in Spearfish, and she worked at Gurney’s Seed Company in Yankton. She delivered Meals on Wheels, and was a Cub Scout leader, a 4-H leader, and a first-grade classroom helper. She volunteered in the church libraries at Brookings and Sioux Falls. She was an avid reader in the United Methodist


Women’s reading program and helped raise awareness of people in need. She belonged to PEO Chapter P in Brookings and was active in TOPS most of her adult life. In addition to reading, she enjoyed singing, gardening, baking, and visiting with anyone who needed a friend. She will be remembered as humble, caring, and gracious. Helen is survived by two sons: Jon Vessey, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and David Vessey, of Waterloo, Wisc.; one daughter, Mary Frederick (and husband Lynn), of Brookings; two grandsons; one great-grandson; two sisters: Ruth McConnell and Sue Randall, of Torrance, Calif.; and one brother, Tom McConnell, of Hoopeston, Ill. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert; and sister, Betty McConnell.

Effie Walker 1926-2012 Effie Walker, 86, of Spearfish, S.D., widow of the Rev. Willis Walker, passed away on Sunday, July 8, 2012, at Belle Fourche Healthcare Center. Funeral services were held on Friday, July 13, 2012, at the Open Bible Church in Belle Fourche, with Pastor Rick Brennan officiating. Interment followed at Black Hills National Cemetery. Effie L. Morton was born on July 4, 1926, in Conneaut Lake, Penn., to the Rev. Liberty and Alicia Morton. Effie married Willis E. Walker on Aug. 31, 1945, in Denver, Colo. Willis was a licensed local pastor for the Methodist Church at Leola, S.D. He also served Presbyterian churches at Watauga, Morristown, and McIntosh, S.D., and then United Methodist churches at Camp Crook-Harding and Rapid City Rapid Valley. Throughout her life Effie traveled to and lived in many places from Pennsylvania to New Mexico and in between, including Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska. She always enjoyed the challenge of a new home. After Willis’ death on Nov. 22, 1998, she moved to Spearfish. She was a member of a knit-and-crochet group and was a regular presence at the afternoon coffee table at the Hickory House, enjoying the banter and laughter. She loved visits with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed driving up Spearfish Canyon, always seeing something new and wonderful. Effie is survived by her children: Rick (and wife Nancy), of Long Beach, Calif., Cindy (and husband Jim), of Fargo, N.D., Paul (and wife Simone), of Blaine, Minn., Jim (and wife Cindy), and John (and wife Paula), all of Belle Fourche; 11 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Willis; one sister, Autumn; and two brothers: Manley and Gordon.

Viola Elmer 1919-2012 Viola Elmer, 93, of Bismarck, N.D., widow of the Rev. Walter Elmer, died Friday, July 13, 2012, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center in Bismarck, N.D. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at Calvary United Methodist Church in Bismarck, with the Rev. Perry Schnabel officiating. Burial was at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Bismarck. Viola Marjorie Voegeli was born on Jan. 23, 1919, in Beresford, S.D., to Mathias J.G. and Anna (Schiesser) Voegeli. The oldest of seven children, she spent her early years in Oakes, N.D., where she graduated from high school in 1937.


She married Walter Dietrich Elmer of Hebron, N.D., on Sept. 14, 1940, in Ellendale, N.D. Together for 54 years, they shared their faith, family, and music with Evangelical, EUB, and United Methodist congregations in Elgin, Lehr, Wahpeton, Grand Forks Zion, Jamestown St. Paul’s, Bismarck Calvary, Mott, and Beulah, N.D., and in Spokane, Wash., and Portland, Ore.

Throughout her life she was always working, from nursing to cooking for camps, doing secretarial work, and refinishing wood. She was involved with United Methodist Women at local and general-church levels and always had a choir to sing with or direct. After Walter passed away, she helped at the Burleigh County (N.D.) Senior Center as a volunteer, site manager, and choir director. Viola is survived by her children: the Rev. Donald (and wife Kay), of Seattle, Wash., Ann Elmer of Dallas, Texas, Cindy Griggs (and husband Jamie), of Lincoln, N.D., Jim (and wife Patti), of Redman, Ore., and Beth Allen (and husband Derek), of Sioux Falls, S.D.; two sisters: Adele Matthias (and husband Cal), of Morris, Minn., and Helen Vix of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; 14 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one brother-in-law, Harold Elmer; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter, on Aug. 20, 1994; one daughter, Donna Jeanne McCoy; three brothers: Raleigh, Clayton, and Harris; and one sister, Shirley Greene.

Helen Vix 1920-2012 Helen Vix, 92, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, widow of the Rev. Henry Vix, died Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, at Garnett Place. Memorial services were held Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, with the Rev. Harlan Gillespie officiating. A service celebrating Helen’s life was held Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, at Stickney United Methodist Church in Stickney, S.D. Helen Leonore Voegeli was born on June 27, 1920, in Beresford, S.D. Her family moved to Oakes, N.D., when she was still an infant. She attended college in Ellendale, N.D., where she met her future husband, Henry J. Vix. They were married on Oct. 8, 1943, at Ellendale. Helen served alongside Henry in his years of ministry at Evangelical, EUB, and United Methodist churches in Oregon and Washington; Hebron, Martin-Anamoose, and Lehr in North Dakota; and at Stickney. She also taught public school and was a store clerk and bank teller. Henry retired in 1975 at Stickney, where they lived for another 11 years. Then they moved to Morris, Minn., to be near Helen’s mother. Henry passed away on April 13, 1993. Helen is survived by two daughters: Lois Bobbi Vix, of Yorba Linda, Calif., and Joyce Johnson (and husband Tim), of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; one sister, Adele Mattheis (and husband Cal); a sister-in-law, Luella Voegeli; three grandchildren; and a goddaughter, Nancy Quan, and her two children. She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; and five siblings: Viola, Clayton, Shirley, Roland and Harris.

Leila “Tibbie” Fitch 1925-2012 Leila “Tibbie” Fitch, 87, wife of the Rev. Harold Fitch, died on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, at Concordia Health Care and Rehab in Bella Vista, Ark. Memorial services were held at First United Methodist Church in Bella Vista on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Cremains were interred at the Bella Vista Cemetery. Leila Dewey was born on March 23, 1925, in rural Cedar County, Neb. She was the second daughter born to J. Irvin and Mabel (Carlson) Dewey. She graduated from high school in Coleridge, Neb., and attended Wayne State Teacher’s College in Wayne, Neb. She taught school for one year before marrying her college sweetheart, Harold E. Fitch, at the Naval Base Chapel in Memphis, Tenn., on June 10, 1944.


Tibbie and Harold had five children and moved 31 times in their marriage, living in Tennessee, Washington, California, Nebraska, Colorado, Iowa, South Dakota, and Arkansas. In South Dakota, Harold was appointed to Scotland, Flandreau-Egan, Sioux Falls Hilltop Heights, Sturgis, and Watertown First. Tibbie managed the Dakotas United Methodist Federal Credit Union for many years and served as director of Women’s Division of The United Methodist Church. They retired to Bella Vista in 1987. Tibbie was active in church and community activities and enjoyed reading, playing bridge, music, and doing crossword puzzles. She served on the Village House Board and volunteered in the church and Habitat for Humanity offices. Harold and Tibbie spent many winters after retirement working on building projects all over the United States for Habitat for Humanity and SOWERS. She is survived by her husband of 68 years, the Rev. Harold E. Fitch; two daughters: Jean Justice (and husband John), of Bella Vista, and Kim Budd (and husband the Rev. Paul), of Sugar Creek, Mo.; one son, Van H. Fitch, of Eveleth, Minn.; one sister, Betty Heitman (and husband Don), of Coleridge, Neb.; two daughters-in-law: Sandra Fitch, of Bella Vista, and Sue Weast, of Hiawatha, Kan.; 11 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Tibbie was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Shirley Sizemore; and two sons: Don D. Fitch and Hal E. Fitch.

Naomi Farnham 1930-2012 Naomi Farnham, 82, of Enderlin, N.D., formerly of Fargo, widow of the Rev. D. James Farnham, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. Funeral services were Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at Fargo Faith United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Kevin Kloster officiating. Interment was at the West St. Olaf Cemetery, rural Enderlin, with the Rev. Frank Dobos officiating at the burial service. Naomi Mae Juenke was born on Jan. 15, 1930, to Walter and Meta (Schmidt) Juenke at Grafton, N.D. She grew up and attended school in Crystal, N.D. She attended Taylor University in Marion, Ind., and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Dakota. She was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, Phi Beta Kappa, and Pi Kappa Lambda. She married David James Farnham on Aug. 28, 1954. He served at Hope-Finley Methodist churches, the Wesley Foundation at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and the Wesley Foundation at North Dakota State University in Fargo. Naomi taught music at Cass Lake, was a substitute teacher in West Fargo, and taught freshman English at NDSU. She participated in study programs at Oxford University in England and at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the 1980s, and she enjoyed grading SAT tests in Princeton, N.J. Naomi also owned and operated MotoFoto and a Christmas tree farm in the 1970s. She was active in the Washington Elementary PTA (serving two terms as president), the Fine Arts Club, Antique Club, League of Women Voters, the local Democratic Party, and Cub Scouts. Naomi is survived by three children: Tom Farnham (and wife Nancy), of Enderlin, Cynthia Dressen, of Belle Plaine, Minn., and Ken Farnham (and wife Lisa), of Fargo; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Vernadine Otto, of Bremerton, Wash.; and a brother, Arnold Juenke, of Crystal, N.D. She was preceded in death by her husband, James, on Feb. 20, 1974; her parents; a brother, Duane; a sister, Lyla; and son-inlaw, Paul Dressen.


Anne Hartung 1930-2013 Anne Hartung, 82, widow of the Rev. Ron Hartung, died Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, at Mercy Hospital in Gilbert, Ariz. A memorial service was held on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, at Prescott United Methodist Church in Prescott, Ariz. Anne was born on Aug. 11, 1930, in St. Louis, Mo., to Ford and Katherine Markham. She married the Rev. Ronald H. Hartung. Ron transferred from the South Dakota Conference to the North Dakota Conference in 1979, and they served United Methodist churches at Williston-Grenora, Minot North Hill-Des Lacs, and Minot Faith-Des Lacs. Ron retired from the ministry in 1987. They moved from Minot, N.D., to Prescott, Ariz., in 1993. Anne was a member of Prescott Fine Arts and the Prescott United Methodist Church and was devoted to the church choir and the American Association of University Women. She enjoyed knitting, quilting, traveling, the opera, museums, fine arts, the symphony, and the love of friends and family. Anne is survived by her children: Nancy Wold (and husband Steve Distler), of Chandler, Ariz., Jeff Wold (and wife Becky), of Mendota Heights, Minn., Peter Wold, of Plymouth, Minn., Leif Wold (and wife Cathy), of Centennial, Colo., Mary Kate Wold, of New York City, Jody Hartung, of Chandler, Ariz., and Mark Hartung (and wife Peg), of Corinth, Texas; 15 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one brother, Joe Markham, of Carlsbad, Calif.; and a sister-in-law, Arlene Comon (and husband Tony), of Prescott, Ariz. She was preceded in death by her husband of 27 years, Ron, on Aug. 19, 2005; and one brother-in-law, Cecil Hartung.

LAITY/CONFERENCE EMPLOYEE Delia Huisinga 1914-2012 Delia Huisinga, 97, of Champlin, Minn., formerly of Mitchell, S.D., died Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, at the Champlin Shores Senior Living Center. Funeral services were held Friday, Aug. 17, 2012, at the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell. Burial was in the Chancellor Reformed Cemetery in Chancellor, S.D. Delia Cecile Krull was born to Harm and Jenny (Begeman) Krull on Oct. 16, 1914, on a farm one mile north of Chancellor. She grew up in the Chancellor area and graduated from Chancellor High School in 1932. She earned a first-grade teaching certificate in 1933 from Eastern State Normal School in Madison, S.D., and also attended Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. Delia taught at rural schools in Turner and Davison counties. She was employed by Dakota Wesleyan from 1967 to 1973 as information and postal clerk, and she was assistant treasurer for the South Dakota Conference in the 1970s. On August 10, 1940, Delia was united in marriage to David Huisinga at Sioux Falls, S.D. She was a member of the Mitchell First United Methodist Church, P.E.O., Chapter BK and the Eastern Star. Delia is survived by her children: Berend “Barry� (and wife, Ruth), of Champlin, Minn., and Betty Jo Rasmussen (and husband, James), of Rapid City, S.D.; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, David, in 1985; her parents; two sisters: Bertha Uhe and an infant sister; two brothers: Fred Krull and Harley Krull; two greatgrandchildren; and a grandson-in-law.


Celebration of

Call and Faithful Service of Retiring Pastors

ORDAINED PASTORS Gary Lee Ball-Kilbourne For the first half of my life, serving as a pastor in North Dakota never entered my mind. For I had never stepped foot onto the North Dakota prairies and buttes until Debra and I were invited to meet with the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee of the Washburn and Center United Methodist Churches and the Riverdale Community Church. We fell in love with the people and the land, and this has been home ever since. I grew up in Washington, DC, and its Maryland suburbs; so I knew a lot more about urban settings than rural life. Debra taught me as she had grown up in southwestern Minnesota. So did the people of the churches I have served: Washburn, Center, Riverdale, Jamestown First, Fargo First, Jamestown St. Paul’s, Minot Vincent. My life has been changed for the better. My life has also been changed and shaped by several privileges beyond the immediate experiences of pastoral ministry including Ph.D. studies in ethics at Vanderbilt; Volunteers-in-Mission trips, especially ones to teach Vacation Bible School on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, and to teach new Christians how to teach the Bible to other new Christians in Lithuania; completing the Two-Year Academy of Spiritual Formation, and serving as retreat master and faculty member for Academies in the Dakotas and Northern Illinois Conferences; six years in charge of developing and producing, writing and editing adult curriculum resources for The United Methodist Publishing House; speaking and leading workshops throughout the USA and Canada on Christian education, strategic planning, leadership skills, spiritual formation, and ethics; and, reading every Book of Discipline cover-to-cover since 1972. I look forward to a retirement of enjoying life with Debra, of becoming better acquainted with grandchildren, and of writing, teaching, and learning. To God belongs the glory

Gerald R. Bass I have spent his entire life as a teacher, but it has only been the past 12 years that all of the teaching has been focused on the Word of God. Earlier in life, I served as an elementary teacher, principal, and school district superintendent.  I spent time as a faculty member and administrator at Oklahoma State University and the University of North Dakota.  Called by the Holy Spirit, and encouraged by Revs. James Persons, Roy Caudill, Carlton Green, and others, I left my faculty position in 2001 to join them as United Methodist clergy.  Throughout my careers, I have had the loving support and partnership in marriage of Gail, with whom we raised daughters, Jodi and Amanda.  It has been a special opportunity for me to serve my “home” church of Grand Forks Wesley for the past eight years.  I offer thanks and praise to God for all the ways I have been blessed.


Steven Claire Johnson I didn’t think I’d be retiring this early, but here I am. Today I am so thankful for the ministry of Bishop James Armstrong, who set the stage for so many of us to receive our calling into ministry. Our family was blessed to meet so many wonderful parishioners and friends. I have very few plans for the future and I hope to find different avenues for ministry. May the Lord continue to richly bless all of us!

Thomas Edward Lavery At age 47 I graduated from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio, became a Deacon in the West Ohio Conference of The UMC and was called to serve the Todd-Mellette Parish in South Dakota. I became an Elder and transferred to the Dakotas Conference. It was the beginning of a wondrous chapter in my life. An east coast city boy I found “the west” to be a strange and yet beautiful place. I never did understand why I wasn’t supposed to wear pearl snap shirts east of the Missouri river or how to fully pronounce “Ya sure – you betcha!” But I learned how to love the people and the land and the weather (OK – maybe not the weather so much). During some tougher times I learned how to allow my people, my congregations, to love me in return. I served two Parishes: The first at Todd-Mellette in South Dakota in White River and Mission S.D, and the second in Bottineau N.D. at The United Parish, a federated church of UMC and Presbyterians working together. In the Dakotas I learned from two particularly skilled and sincere bishops whom I continue to admire. I have been serving as a missionary to the Methodists in New Jersey for 5 years, living 2 blocks from the beach and enjoying those wonders. God has thus far given me an intriguing path to walk and some of the best was when I walked in the Dakotas. I thank you all for your friendship and your love. And a special thanks to Pete and Grace Moe who imported me here from Ohio. As I retire and return to Ohio to live nearer my family I wonder what God has next!

Susan K. O’Connell Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that I would be serving God as United Methodist minister; but (that’s my favorite word) I never thought I’d live in South Dakota being born and raised in Michigan. After retiring from the Air Force, my husband, Bill, went to work for the Rapid City Police Department and we planned to live the rest of our lives in Rapid City. I had been teaching for almost twenty years, fifteen at Canyon Lake Elementary.Bill and I were settled in our own home and our daughters were grown and embarking on their own adventures when WHAM! Rev. Gene Kroger handed me a letter inviting his friend, Sue, to attend a discovery weekend at North American Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls. Little did I know when I had asked God to keep our family together while Bill was stationed at Travis AFB, California with the promise I would go anywhere; that God would ask me to do just that… selling our home, moving to Sioux Falls, attending seminary and embarking on an incredible journey, serving God in places I never would have known: Geddes, Gettysburg (where the battle wasn’t), Onida, Agar, Flandreau and Egan, with people who have blessed me, challenged me and helped me to be who I am today. Psalm 71:18 tells us, “So even to old age and gray hair, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all generations to come.”


Ironically, Bill and I will not be returning to Michigan or moving back to our beloved Rapid City. Instead, we have purchased a home in Rochester, Minnesota to be near our three youngest grandchildren while still close to our two other grandsons in Sioux Falls. Although I don’t know what God has planned for this next leg of the journey, I do know I will never retire from serving God.

Sunandkumar (Sunny) Samuel 2 Timothy 4:7-8—“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” I was born in Bidar, India in a Christian home. My great grandfather was the very first person to become a Christian in our village. A missionary from the United States witnessed to my great grandfather who was a Hindu priest, and once he was converted he gave up his idols and dedicated his life to serving Christ. His children and grandchildren followed him into ministry and served God in converting many non-Christians to accept Christ as their personal savior. I was educated in India and was a physical education teacher in Pune, India. I came to The United States in 1980 and attended North American Baptist Seminary to go into ministry to follow my greatgrandfathers’ and grandfathers’ footsteps. In 1984, I completed my Masters of Divinity and started my ministry. From 1985-1988, I served Mellette, Mansfield and Brentford UCC churches; from 1988-1991, Arlington and Lake Preston; from 1991-1999, Colton and Chester; from 1999-2004, Salem and Montrose; from 2004-2010, Clear Lake and Gary; and from 2010 up until my retirement I have been serving Beresford-Zion United Methodist Church. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve God and the wonderful people that He brought into our lives. My wife, Leela, and I have fond memories of churches we served and are grateful to people that have touched and blessed our lives in so many different ways.

Gerald Alvin Stolp I am very grateful for the time in ministry with the wonderful people of the churches and communities we were fortunate to serve. It was fun, rewarding and energizing to watch the Spirit of God work in the people’s lives through the ministries of the churches. Many wonderful and life-long friendships have been established. We have been blessed by the power of God in the lives of the people where we served. I am also thankful for the years of ministry with all the active and retired pastors who inspired and helped me in my ministry over the years. I am also extremely grateful for the love and support of my family; my wife, Carolyn; my daughter, Robin, and her husband, Ryan, and their four children; my son, Jamie, and his wife, Carrie, and their two children; and, my son, Matthew, and his son, Matthew. We are looking forward to spending time with our family in the coming years, including watching our grandchildren in all their activities.


Peggy Ann Zerface I was born in Valley City, North Dakota, to parents who were farmers. I grew up with four brothers. My family consists of my mom, the brothers, four sisters-in-law, 9 nieces and nephews and 7 great nieces and nephews. My father passed away this past March. My grade school education occurred in Page, a country school, Pillsbury and Hope, ND. I graduated from Valley City State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary education. I taught in Glen Ullin and Grafton, ND for a total of seven years. During the summer of 1979, I was introduced to the Dakotas Camping Program, serving as counselor and chief cook and bottle washer for several years. I attended seminary at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, MO, from 1984-1988. I served congregations in: Marion and Dickey, ND; McCabe, Bismarck, ND; Clear Lake and Gary, SD; three point charge, Drayton, St. Thomas, Crystal, ND; Faith UMC, Fargo, ND; three point change, Enderlin UMC, Lisbon UMC and Lisbon ND, Presbyterian. I am presently serving on the staff of Fargo-First UMC. Each of my appointments presented joys and challenges and we walked together for the betterment of God’s kingdom on earth. I credit the Dakotas Camping program for providing a “place apart” to explore my gifts and graces for ministry. I give thanks to the many pastors, staff, campers and lay folks who encouraged me along this ourney.

Albartus Lee “Bert”VanEssen

LOCAL PASTOR Fern Bailey God called me into pastoral ministry as I turned sixty years of age. My first reaction was, “What!  Do you know how old I am?”  It took a lot of prayer time in discerning that, yes, the call was genuine, and, no, you won’t go it alone.  It truly has been a privilege to serve God in this capacity these past eight years.  Having Bethany and Fairmount UMCs as my first and only churches has been a great blessing.  Some of the highlights while serving there are ministries of Free Store, Hispanic, and Food Backpack as well as the Youth Mission Trips to Appalachia, the Gulf Region, etc.   My husband, Harris, and I have always been active in some sort of ministry from the time of college to the present.  We›ve enjoyed our UMC families in Grand Forks, Bloomington MN, Wahpeton and Fairmount/Bethany.  It was sad to see Bethany close but it was the right move at the right time.  It is now the right move at the right time for me to retire.  Spending time with grandchildren and doing other ministries will continue to keep us active.   We have wonderful children (Janet, Brenda, Angie & Damian) who have all invested time as counselors in the UMC camping program.  Brenda is now investing additional time as a UMC clergy spouse (Paul Lint).  Being faithful to our church membership vows is and always has been important to us, but most important is being faithful to our Savior Jesus Christ. 


The Dakotas Conference

Extended Cabinet Bishop Bruce R. Ough Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area 612-870-4007

Rev. Keith Nelson Sakakawea District Superintendent 701-255-0800

Rev. Greg Kroger Director of Ministries 605-996-6552

Rev. Marilyn Spurrell Eastern Sunrise District Superintendent 701-364-1941

Rev. Roy Caudill Glacial Lakes District Superintendent 605-334-5248

Bruce Blumer Dakotas UM Foundation Director 605-996-6552

Rev. Randy Cross Prairie Hills District Superintendent 605-343-3172

Jodi Cataldo Director of Leadership Development 605-996-6552

Meet Our Preachers: Bishop Bruce R. Ough

Rev. Rich Zeck

Bishop Ough is the resident bishop for the DakotasMinnesota Episcopal Area. He began his service to the Area on September 1, 2012. Previously he served the Ohio West Area, of The United Methodist Church, where he was the spiritual leader for nearly 200,000 United Methodists in more than 1,100 congregations in 58 Ohio counties. He served West Ohio September, 2000-August 2012.

Rev. Rich Zeck was born October 8, 1963. He received his Bachelor of Science in Arts & Science with High Honors from South Dakota State University in 1986. He received a Master of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in 1989.

Prior to his election and consecration as a bishop in July 2000, Bishop Ough served as the senior pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, a 2,800-member congregation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


He is married to Charlene Ough, and they are the parents of three sons

In 2002 he began as the Senior Pastor at First United Methodist in Fargo, ND. He is currently a member on the Boards of the Fargo Library and the Fargo Theater. Prior to his move to Fargo he was Pastor at McCook Lake United Methodist Church in McCook Lake, SD from 1992-2002. He was Associate Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Yankton, SD from 1989-1992. He is married to Bonnie and they have four children.

Clergy Photos: Becky Holten Director of Camping and Youth Ministries 605-996-6552 Doreen Gosmire Associate Director of Communications 605-996-6552 Jeff Pospisil Director of Finance and Admiistration 605-996-6552

Photos are needed of all active and retired clergy. You can have your photo taken any time between 7:30 am and 7 pm on Thursday, June 6, 2013. Photos will be taken in Room 1234 of the Ramkota. This room is in the Courtyard area right off of the Dakota Ballroom. There are no fees for photos. A monitor with the livestream feed of the Annual Conference will be playing near the area where photos are being taken.

This Program We hope you find this program to be a useful tool during your attendance at the Twentieth Session of the Dakotas Annual Conference. We have designed it as a resource to keep and share with your church in the coming year.

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Conference Staff Dakotas Conference Office Staff and Contact Information Mailing Address 1331 W. University Ave. P. O. Box 460 Mitchell, SD 57301-0460 Phone: 605-996-6552 Fax: 605-996-0827

Sharon Blumer Financial Assistant Conference Statistician

Ginny Sekol Assist. Director of Camping and Youth Ministries

Bonnie Carlson Admin. Assist. for Leadership Dev. Resource Library

Leana Stunes Chief Benefits Officer

Karina Willoughby Administrative Assistant to the DCM and Cabinet 605-996-6552

JoAnn Schlimgen Assist. Director of Finance and Administration

Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area Office Staff and Contact Information Mailing Address 122 W. Franklin Ave. Suite 200 Minneapolis, MN 55404

Sheilah Kyburz Administrative Assistant Phone: 612-870-4007


Dakotas Conference Resources GET CONNECTED! Daily updated in-depth resources and news to equip your local church Weekly News Mondays@Dakotas an e-publication with the latest news, resources and information on our conference. To subscribe e-mail

Special Thank You to All Who Contributed to the Conference Annual Conference Sessions Committee Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Dakotas-Minnesota Area Rev. Ryan Mutzenberger, Chairperson Rev. Keith Nelson, Sakakawea District Superintendent Rev. Jenny Hallenbeck, Worship Coordinator Rev. Dayne Zachrison, Site Coordinator Rev. Lee Gale, Agenda Coordinator Rev. Greg Kroger, Director of Ministries Doreen Gosmire, Associate Director of Communications Karina Willoughby, Admin. Assist. to Dir. of Ministries & Cabinet Sharon Blumer, Conference Registrar and Statistician Conference Secretary Rev. Mark Ellingson Rev. Gary Ball-Killbourne for serving as parliamentarian Communications and Production Sean Binder, Projection and Announcements Ian Blumer, Bakken Logo and Graphic Design Charity Kerr, Photography, Facebook, Twitter Will Prines, Video Production Natalie Munger, AC Logo and Graphic Design Bethany Sheets, Layout and Graphic Design Kent Taylor, Video Production Courtney Van De Burg, Program Booklet Design Sound, Lights and Video Dakotas Sound and Music

Worship Rev. Jenny Hallenbeck, Chair Rev. Amy Atkins Rev. Lori Broschat Rev. Sara Nelson The Annual Conference Worship Band Howie Baird, keyboard Taylor Johnson, electric guitar Chang Yi, acoustic guitar Matt Richards, bass guitar John Srstka, percussion Rebecca Trefz, vocals Jenny Hallenbeck, vocals Music provided at the Celebration Banquet by Legacy UMC Worship Team led by Dan Weigel Journal Co-Editors Rev. Duane Coates Janelle Jones Memorials prepared by Laurie Langland, Conference Archivist Design and quilting of the stage and podium banners by Nancy Nelson



1 The Missouri Room 1a. Heart 1b. Sheyenne 1c. Cannonball 2 The Dakota Ballroom 2a. Grand Pacific 2b. Patterson 2c. Lamborn 3 Cloak Room 4 Courtyard 5 Elevators 6 Business Center 7 Front Desk (Room Registration) 8 Governor’s Room 9 Lobby 10 Game Room 11 Exercise Room 12 Nickels Lounge & Casino 13 Seasons Cafe & Restaurant 14 Administrative Offices 15 Sales & Catering Office 16 Sauna 17 WaterPark 18 Pop/Ice 19 Restrooms


1271 1269


Grand Pacific







5 Restrooms 1268









5 Restrooms

Cloak Room


18 Courtyard









The Dakota Ballroom

3 1201 1203










1215 1217

1240 1238 1236 1234

18 1253 1251 1249 1247 1245 1243 1241 1239 1237 1235

Dakota Ballroom Entrance

1233 1231 1229 1227 1225



6 1121 1119 1117 1115 1111 1109 1107

















1149 1151 1153 1157 1171


WaterPark 1162 1164 1166 1168 1170 1172

10 1174

5 Elevator




1173 1175


1c 1b 1a


15 19

East Entrance

Nickels Lounge & Casino

8 3



7 12

Down To Missouri Down Ballroom









1118 1116 1114 1110 1108 1106 1104 1102






Main Entrance y bb Lo




800 S. Third Street | Bismarck, ND (701) 258-7700

Each Best Western hotel is independently owned and operated.

Dakotas Conference AC 2013  
Dakotas Conference AC 2013  

Program book for the 20th Session of the Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist church