Bishop Gregory V. Palmer announced today that The Rev. Dr. Jocelyn M. Roper will be appointed Director of Diversity Initiatives in the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2013.
As a part of the conference Connectional Ministries team, Dr. Roper will be responsible for key diversity initiatives of the Connectional Ministries team, the Bishop and Cabinet, as well as new and continued growth of new multicultural communities in the West Ohio Conference.
Bishop Palmer offered that he is “anticipating a fresh deliberateness in the West Ohio Conference in creating beloved community and beloved communities. Attention to being more diverse, intercultural and multicultural will help us on to this grace“.
According to The Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey, Director of Connectional and Missional Initiatives, "We already have a vibrant and ongoing commitment to Hispanic/Latino ministry in the West Ohio Conference. This new position will allow us to enhance and integrate an entire spectrum of diverse and multicultural resourcing throughout our shared ministries across the annual conference. I am extremely excited about Jocelyn's addition to our Connectional Ministries team."
Roper, who grew up in Springfield, Ohio and is a lifelong United Methodist, has served as Assistant to the Superintendent in the Ohio River Valley District for the past seven years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Central State University, and both her Master of Arts in Theological Studies and Doctor of Missiology degrees from United Theological Seminary.
Before becoming an Ordained Elder in the West Ohio Conference in 2000, Dr. Roper served the church as a Community Developer, a Church and Community Worker, a Deaconess and a Diaconal Minister. She also served as Pastor of Mt. Healthy United Methodist Church and on multiple conference and district committees.
Dr. Roper brings with her a history and passion for working with diverse communities by extending the love of God to all people, especially those who may not feel welcome in the church or at the table. She has proactively sought ways to share and show the love of God across social, cultural, economic, political and religious boundaries.
“Jocelyn brings passion, skill and experience in helping congregations and the connection to look more like the reign of God, the welcome table. All of her life, vocational and professional experiences have prepared her for this season in her ministry and in the life of the West Ohio Conference.
Dr. Roper is the proud mother of five children and three grandchildren.
The West Ohio Conference is the ministry office for The United Methodist Church in 58 counties of Ohio, supporting approximately 1,100 local United Methodist congregations as well as nearly 200,000 members.