Challenges for Redistricting - A Look Beyond 2004greenspun.com : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread
The joy of serving the Lord is always my strength. During the 1992-1996 quadrennium the noble Namibians resisted the unilateral plans by the leadership to disconnect us from our present district. We did this simply because of the dictatorial style and in manner in which this process was carried, without consulting the affected nations and peoples! Legislations aimed at redistricting were withdrawn at Cincinnati 2000, but this simply delayed the process we believe should be finalised in 2004. And we believe the recent preliminary views at the meeting of the Africa Jurisdictional Council were positive signs. Namibian and Botswana delegates at the AJC meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe expressed their wish to be joined together with Angola in a separate Episcopal District. We do not propogate new districts, but there is a definite need to revisit the present borders and to come up with new effective borders.
A resident bishop in Windhoek, the Namibian capital, will be geographically central and strategic to administer both Angola and Botswana from here. In Namibia, we are even thinking about splitting the present Namibia Annual Conference into the Northern Namibia Annual Conference and the Southern Namibia Annual Conference.If you compare the statistics of the overseas districts given in The AME Review of january-march 1998, you'll realise that the present Namibia Annual Conference 5th largest conference in Africa with more than 6000 full members!
I am in favour of a new rebordered and re-aligned Episcopal District comprised of Angola, Botswana and Namibia, with at least 19 000 members. What do you think about your district? Are you satisfied with the present arrangement?
-- Anonymous, February 06, 2001
I find the question interesting because we seem to be pulled in two different directions. At Convocation IV before GenCon 2000, there were four plans presented, most of which created new districts and realigned districts in the US, but did not change borders in Africa. On the other hand, the financial strain on the Connection also fostered a move at GenCon to consolidate (and eliminate some sitting positions) rather than expand.
With 7 potential seats upcoming, I could see consolidation being accomplished in this quadrennium. One approach would be to eliminate the Eucmenical Officer seat and assign the duties to appropriate General Officers. Two districts could be eliminated by splitting the states assigned to them and reassigning those states into four other districts. The outcome of this would be a reduction to 17 active seats on the bench, with an electoral need in 2004 for 4, instead of 7, bishops, a very manageable number.
No plan is without impacts. Concurrent with district realignment must be intradistrict consolidation. It means our leadership will have to take a hard, prayerful look at someof our churces and dtermine their long-term efficacy.
Given Rev. Hanse's proposal for a Namibia-centered district, would what be the impact of the split on the current 15th disctirct? Does his proposal include consolidation of the present 15th with the present 19th (i.e., realignment rather than increase)? We would like to understand the situation and ramifications a little better.
-- Anonymous, February 07, 2001