MAR resumes publication in August
The Michigan Area Reporter, the print publication that serves the Detroit and West Michigan Conference, will resume publication in August 2012, it was announced today (June 26, 2012) by the Michigan Area Communications Team.
Each church in the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences will receive four complimentary copies of The Reporter, and copies will also be available at the Michigan Area office, each conference office, and each district office. The Reporter will publish monthly and will include a copy of The United Methodist Reporter, which will contain national and denominational news. The Michigan Area Reporter will also be available in an online format on both the Detroit and West Michigan Conference websites.
The newest edition of The Michigan Area Reporter will arrive at local churches during the first week of August, and will highlight the news from the 2012 North Central Jurisdictional Conference, which takes place on July 18-20 in Akron, Ohio. During the conference, the episcopal assignments for the North Central Jurisdiction will be announced and the retirement of Bishop Linda Lee, who served the Michigan Area from 2000-04, will be celebrated. Lee will be preaching during the closing worship service of the conference on Friday, July 20, while Michigan Area Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton will preach during the worship service on Thursday, July 19. The publication will also include an article from Keaton as well as news from the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences.
The communications team also announced that the Rev. Erik Alsgaard, pastor at St. Ignace UMC, will serve as the editor of The Michigan Area Reporter.
Alsgaard is no stranger to the Michigan Area, having served as the editor of The Michigan Christian Advocate from 1995-98. He also served as the director of communications for the Baltimore-Washington and Florida Conferences before returning to pastoral ministry in St. Ignace in 2010.
"I am honored and excited to be returning to the ministry of communications in the Michigan Area," Alsgaard said. "I'm looking forward to sharing the stories of the people called United Methodist throughout the state."
Alsgaard, a member of the United Methodist Association of Communicators and clergy member of the Detroit Conference, will continue to be the pastor of the St. Ignace congregation, but will be serving the church on a 3/4-time basis.
The decision by the team to resume publication of The Reporter came after months of discussion led by Bishop Keaton, and concluded that a print publication for the Michigan Area was necessary in order to provide area and denominational news to those who do not access the electronic communications of the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences. The area communications team consists of: the Rev. Benton Heisler, Director of Connectional Ministries for the West Michigan Conference; Mark Doyal, Director of Communications for the West Michigan Conference; the Rev. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine, Director of Connectional Ministries for the Detroit Conference; Paul Thomas, Director of Communications for the Detroit Conference; Bishop Keaton; and the Rev. Dr. William Dobbs, clergy Assistant to the Bishop.
The Michigan Area Reporter is funded through the budgets of the commissions on communications in the Detroit and West Michigan Conference. The first edition of the publication appeared in February 2010.