Hustedt named to General Commission on Communications


Stephen J. HustedtPHOENIX, Ariz. – Former IGRC Communications staff writer and editor Stephen J. Hustedt has been appointed to serve on the General Commission on Communications.

The appointment came from the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops and was announced Oct. 6. The General Commission on Communications provides oversight to United Methodist Communications in Nashville and is responsible for sharing the story of the people of The United Methodist Church both within the church and with the world.
“I was a little taken aback when I was asked,” Hustedt said. “But, it is an incredible honor. There are a lot of qualified people who could have been asked to take this position, and I realize how important the work of the General Commission on Communications is. I have faith that there are some valuable contributions I can provide. I believe in the mission of The United Methodist Church, to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world, and I believe the only way to fulfill our mission is to learn to tell our story in a way that can be heard by the hungry and hurting people of the world. By accepting this position I will have one more opportunity to hold this vision up to the church.”
Hustedt succeeds Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. as the Western Jurisdictional representative on the Commission. Hygh, formerly the Communications Director for the California-Pacific Conference, recently was hired by the General Board of Global Ministries.
In addition to the work Hustedt will do with The General Commission on Communications he serves on the United Methodist Association of Communicators executive board and provides communications support for the Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team.
“What makes us uniquely United Methodist is our system of connection,” Hustedt said. “In a world that is making people become more and more connected, whether they like it or not, United Methodists have a distinct advantage in that connection is central to our denomination. Each level of the church plays a crucial role and I’m proud to be able to provide support, knowledge, and skills at every level our denomination has to offer.”
Hustedt, who left Illinois in 2006 to become Director of Communications for the Desert Southwest Conference, is an award-winning journalist. He joins the General Commission on Communications which includes as part of its current membership IGRC Director of Communication Ministries Paul Black, who was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008.
“The world needs us to share our story,” Hustedt said. “The only question is if we are willing to do what it takes to help the world hear it… I believe that with God’s help we will make ourselves heard, and that we will transform the world.”  
(Rev. Lynn Bartlow is a former clergy member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference and is currently serving in the Desert Southwest Conference. A former member of the IGRC Commission on Communications, Bartlow is chair of the Desert Southwest Conference Commission on Communications).