Announcements about District Superintendents


Bishop Susan W. Hassinger announces decisions regarding the Wilkes-Barre and Scranton District Superintendents. District Superintendents are an extension of the office of bishop, and share in the oversight of the ministry of the whole annual conference, with particular focus on the churches and communities to which they have been assigned.

After consultation with the Wyoming Conference appointment cabinet and the Wilkes-Barre District Committee on Superintendency, Bishop Hassinger announces that she is extending the term of Wilkes-Barre District Superintendent, the Rev. Gregory Myers, for the next appointment year, July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011.  After prayerfully considering the request to continue in this ministry, Rev. Myers has agreed to do so.  Bishop Jane Middleton, resident bishop of the Central Pennsylvania Conference and the soon-to-be Susquehanna Conference, also confirmed this extension of appointment, according to the guidelines in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. 

In discussing this extension of service with the Wilkes-Barre District Superintendency Committee, Bishop Hassinger notes that it will be helpful to have consistency in this position during this time of transitions in conference alignment.  Rev. Myers has been a part of the original Vision task force between Wyoming and Central Pennsylvania.  At the invitation of Bishop Middleton, Rev. Myers has already been meeting periodically with the current cabinet in Central Pennsylvania, in preparation for the shifts to the new Susquehanna Conference.  Bishop Hassinger also stated that:  “Rev. Myers brings not only knowledge of the present, but also a visionary spirit and wisdom, as well as pastoral caring to the ministry of superintending.

The Rev. Bette Poe is in her seventh year as superintendent assigned to the Scranton District.  Bette has requested retirement as of June 30, 2010.  Bette has served the conference and the district with caring and thoughtful leadership, and we are grateful for the gifts and commitment she has brought to this responsibility.  I am especially grateful for the years she has served as Dean of the Wyoming Conference Cabinet, and for her steadiness in the midst of transitions that have occurred and will continue. 

In order to prepare for a successor to Bette, in early October I met with the Committee on District Superintendency of the Scranton District.  They shared their perspectives on the demographics of the district, both in the churches as well as in the regions that make up the district.  They also described their sense of the mission that God is inviting them to engage in now and for the next 5-8 years.  They also reflected on the anticipated shift of the Pennsylvania churches into the Susquehanna Conference, and the impact this would have on the churches and on a superintendent’s leadership.  From this background, the committee developed a list of characteristics of leadership they need from a superintendent. 

District superintendents are an extension of the office of the bishop, and are first appointed to the Cabinet and then assigned to a district.  Thus the Cabinet and I will consider the needs for leadership in the superintending role for the whole conference, as well as for the shifting conference configurations.  We also will look carefully at the criteria and expectations developed by the district committee.  From all of this background, the appointment cabinet and I will engage in a time of prayerful discernment.  One further step is included in this process.  Bishop Jane Allen Middleton joined me in meeting with the Scranton Committee on District Superintendent, to listen to their perspectives.  While the Wyoming Conference Cabinet will have primary involvement in the discernment process, and I will make the appointment of the new district superintendent, I will be consulting with Bishop Middleton in this process as well. 

Please keep the Cabinet, Rev. Myers and Rev. Poe in your prayers in these times of discernment and transition.


A Letter from Bette to the People of the Scranton District:


As you probably know, I took 6 weeks Renewal Leave this summer.  What a blessing that was!  Among other things, I was able to just spend time with God, trying to discern God’s plans for me.  At the end of the Leave I was convinced that it is time to retire, at least from fulltime ministry.

Therefore, early in September I informed our Bishop of my decision.  She and Bishop Middleton have now met with the District Committee on Superintendency, and are beginning the process of discerning who God is calling into this position for the next several years.  I ask your prayers especially upon Bishop Hassinger as she begins this thoughtful and important task.

This is an exciting time for the folk in the Wyoming Conference.  I’m particularly excited about the new Susquehanna Conference.  What great work we can all do together!  I only wish I were younger so that I could be more a part of this new thing God is doing here in Pennsylvania.  Still, I feel so fortunate to have been here at the “birthing.”

In the meantime, I will still be your superintendent until July 1, 2010.  And, even after that, I will still live here in Scranton, so you will still see me around.  And, I will still like chocolate.

Scranton District welcomed me with open arms when I came here, and has continued to surround me with love and prayers, and I will always be grateful to all you wonderful people.

With much love,