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Bishop appoints Rev. Jeffry Bross as new Aurora District Superintendent

Posted: March 26 2018 at 01:51 PM
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Rev. Jeffry Bross is appointed Aurora District Superintendent effective July 1, 2018.

Bishop Sally Dyck is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Aurora District Superintendent, Rev. Jeffry Bross, effective July 1, 2018. 

Rev. Bross has served as the Associate at Batavia UMC and then founding pastor of Flowing Grace UMC which chartered four years ago. He has served on the Aurora District Committee on Ordained Ministry as well as the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. 

Rev. Bross follows Rev. Dick Wisdom who has been appointed to Plainfield: First UMC, also effective July 1, 2018.

On behalf of the annual conference, Bishop Dyck thanks Rev. Wisdom for his years of service on the Northern Illinois Cabinet. He served the DeKalb District from 2011-2013 and then the Aurora District from 2013-present. As part of his superintendent responsibilities, he has been active on the Red Door project and the liaison on the Board of Ordained Ministry.

Rev. Wisdom says serving as the Aurora District Superintendent has been a great gift. "It is a challenging and dynamic district. There have been, for sure, times of rugged ministry that I’ve experienced," said Wisdom. "Though my memories will be of the gifted and talented clergy linked with empowered and faithful laity navigating the largest cultural shift of our lifetime.”

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Rev. Dick Wisdom is appointed to Plainfield: First UMC effective July 1, 2018.

Rev. Bross says he is thrilled with the appointment and the opportunity to help bring the annual conference and the local church into a closer relationship.  

"Being connectional allows us to do things we could never dream of alone," said Bross. "However, it is clear that the main work and main discipleship happens at the local level."

This first year as District Superintendent, Bross says he intends to spend as much time listening, learning and growing as possible. The District Superintendency calls for a new learning curve for him but he is confident that the Cabinet, Aurora churches and Dick Wisdom, will help him transition quickly.

"I do not want to come in and change the wonderful momentum that Rev. Wisdom has started for us. Rather, I would like to build upon the relationships, trust, and work that he has so diligently worked on over his tenure as our District Superintendent," said Bross. "Although, I do have some fresh ideas and resources, if they fit into the vision of the Bishop and our district, that I'm excited to share with the very dedicated and talented clergy we have in Aurora." 

He goes on to say, "What connects us as United Methodists is the love of God and our call to serve our Creator in a world that seems lost and separated from hope. Though our individual contexts might be different, we share in the need to love God and be loved by God, to love others and to be loved by others and in all we can do, be generous and serve our church and the world as best we can. I cannot wait to get started!"

Bross said he grew up as a T.O. (Theological Offspring). His father served as a United Methodist pastor and Conference Council Director in Wisconsin and his mother served as a Christian Educator. As a high school student, in 1988, he was elected to the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference and subsequently served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. 

While a full-time youth director in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, he responded to the call as an ordained elder.  After three years at Garrett Evangelical-Theological Seminary, Bross was appointed to Batavia United Methodist Church and has served Flowing Grace for over a decade. While he is sad to leave Flowing Grace as their Pastor,  he says he's encouraged he will still be in a relationship with the congregation as their DS.

"The people there are some of the most dedicated and lovely people I have ever met. I owe so much to them for their patience and kindness to me and my family.  Their audacious love of the church and this crazy idea to worship without walls has been amazing.  God has and will continue to work miracles through them every day," said Bross.

Bishop Dyck says Bross has a passion around the “Day of Call” which is an emphasis for our annual conference to help people articulate and respond to a call to ministry.  "He has a 'can do' attitude and he will continue to be accessible to clergy and churches for support and connecting with others to learn and grow in ministry," said Dyck.  "As someone who has successfully started a new church, he will help both the cabinet and local churches rethink new ways of being church."

Bross is an avid hunter and fisherman, enjoys gardening and spending time with his family.  His wife, Catherine, an attorney, enjoys running, meditation and healthy eating and living. They have three children; Anna who will be attending Augustana College in the fall to study education and play soccer, Timothy, currently a sophomore, who enjoys playing baseball and fishing, and James, a current 8th grader who is a fencer and loves computers.  

Opportunities for saying “thank you” to Rev. Wisdom and “hello” to Rev. Bross will be publicized as soon as the details are made available.

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