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Two new district superintendents installed

Posted: October 1 2019 at 10:38 AM

The Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer was officially installed as the Rockford District Superintendent during a service at Beth Eden UMC in Rockford on Sunday, Sept. 28. 

Bishop Dyck welcomed Grandon-Mayer and said she has a great global awareness of the United Methodist Church. Born and raised in Chile, Grandon-Mayer received God's call to be a pastor at age 17. She coordinated a youth and mission program for all of Latin America and the Caribbean and was the director of youth and young adult ministry for the World Methodist Council. 

"Fabiola has tremendous knowledge with the church around the world," said Bishop Dyck. "She has wonderful processing skills and brings unique gifts to the Cabinet. I know you will not only come to know her as your District Superintendent but also as your spiritual leader." 

Grandon-Mayer​ delivered a sermon titled, “UNCERTAINTY? a faithful servant!” She said while we may live with uncertainty and anxiety and there are many things we don't know, what we do know for sure is that as believers we need to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ. 

"Be a servant in your congregation, be a servant in your community, be a servant in your place of work, be a servant when you see injustice, be a servant when you see people different than you, be a servant when things are going well and when things are uncertain," said Grandon-Mayer. "Listen to God’s call, imitate Him and seek to build one another up in humility and love."

An offering was taken for Rockford Urban Ministries.

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The Rev. Brian Gilbert was officially installed and welcomed as the DeKalb District Superintendent on Sunday, Sept. 22 at First UMC in Dixon.

Bishop Sally Dyck said it is a great joy to have Gilbert on the Cabinet. "He has a keen sense of what's happening around us," she said to the clergy and laity who gathered from around the district for the service. "Whether it's the weather and how it's affecting the farmers or the uncertainty of the denomination, Brian will keep helping to direct your attention to what we are all about – and that is to be the church of Jesus Christ."

Bishop Dyck also said Gilbert is unabashedly a "Methodist nerd," which is a good thing and what we need right now, she added. "He is deeply rooted in our history and our tradition and truly the core of what it means to be a Methodist. I think that will serve you well," Dyck said.

Gilbert's sermon was titled "The Vitality of Our Churches." He shared the story of how he nearly died of bacterial meningitis while in seminary in Washington, D.C. and turned to the Lord's Prayer in his moments of fear.

"It is the one prayer that all denominations pray and connects us," he said. "A vital church isn't how many people they have on the membership roles. As a church we need to be asking questions, hearing questions, being present with people and we must be mindful of where Jesus is at work in our communities. Christ calls all of us to the work of discipleship and to a God who connects us." 

The offering during Gilbert's service went toward the NIC's United Voices for Children.

Both Grandon-Mayer and Gilbert have been busy on the job since July 1 and are in the midst of the church conference season.

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