Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Changes in the District Office

Most of you know that Walt Wiltschek started as our District Executive on September 1. While we are quite excited about his coming back to our District in this capacity, we are also extremely grateful for Connie Burkholder’s expertise and work as our Interim District Executive. She has done an outstanding job helping us maintain continuity with ministry, programming, and pastoral placement as we are transitioning from Kevin Kessler to Walt.

There will be further changes coming soon: Andrea Garnett, our awesome Administrative Assistant, will be going on a 12-week family leave in the near future, as she will be induced the week of September 19. Doing the office work during Andrea’s leave will be Anna O’Brien. Office hours (10 to 15 hours per week) during that time will be up to Anna, as she is a student. Andrea and Anna have already been spending some time together so that Anna knows what to expect before Andrea’s leave starts. Anna will be using Andrea's office email address, so please continue to email if you would like to contact the district office. The district phone number (309-649-6008) will also continue to be checked daily.

Andrea plans to continue in her job as Administrative Assistant after her leave. She and Connie have worked well together at a distance, and Walt has expressed confidence that they will have a fine virtual working relationship too. Therefore, the physical District office will remain at the Canton church, and we are thankful for their willingness to let us remain in their space.

Program and Arrangements Committee and the Canton congregation have been working at the details of District Conference planning and paperwork to relieve the load on Andrea and on Anna, who is not familiar with the process.

Our district treasurer, who is currently Ellis Boughton, will be overseeing the financial end of things. However, the financial work that was once delegated to Andrea is now outsourced to Supporting Strategies. Leadership Team felt that it was important to have an outside firm take care of bookkeeping, bill-paying, and payroll. Supporting Strategies started their work in July, and we are still transitioning into this arrangement.

Even with these substantial changes and the care we have tried to take, Leadership Team believes that we can still continue the work of the District and in the District office as we have been. We ask for your prayers and patience during this time.