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Annual Meeting theme is ‘Promised Hope’

The PNC-UCC Annual Meeting 2022, “Promised Hope,” is a virtual meeting again. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., Saturday, April 30, as a one-day, business only meeting, with a 10:30 a.m., Sunday, May 1, worship to conclude the event.

The Zoom gathering on Saturday includes an opening prayer, Mike Denton’s message, a budget hearing, two plenary sessions and elections of nominated leaders.

At 11 a.m., there will be written reports and visual presentations from various committees and organizations, said Tara Leininger, board vice moderator and nominee as board moderator.

After a break for lunch, the second plenary session will be a vote on the 2022-23 budget and the election of leaders to committee and board positions.

The day ends with the installation of those elected, handing over the moderator’s gavel and a concluding prayer and song.

Hillary Coleman ends her two-year tenure as PNC moderator and will pass the gavel to Tara Leininger, the pastor of Metaline Falls Congregational UCC, past vice-moderator.  The new vice moderator will be Indigo Brown.

Tara and Indigo expect the next two years to be a time of transition in many ways.  Hillary will be honored for her commitment to the conference and still be relied on as “moderator emeritus,” sharing her understanding of the complexities of the PNC from her time as moderator.

The documents for Annual Meeting 2022 are available through the conference website at, including the slate for election, the annual reports from staff, committees and organizations, and the budget.

“Often the budget is a time-consuming issue,” said Tara. “This year, with questions about the expenditures for the PNC-UCC anti-racism work, Moderator Hillary will direct questions to those with the possible answers, keeping the budget hearing moving smoothly.”

To expedite matters, Tara suggests that everyone review the budget before the meeting. A budget and finance report packet is online at, Delegates can direct questions to the Stewardship Committee and Budget Sub-Committee, or to the treasurer or bookkeeper.

The budget hearing begins at 9:45 a.m., with a time to focus on the overall budget with questions and answers prepared in advance.

“The hard part of the meeting will be reviewing the nominees,” Tara continued. “Many positions on the board and committees are not filled.  Finding individuals ready to do Christ’s work in the PNC is becoming more difficult.

“There is a post-pandemic weariness that most can see, but the work doesn’t go away simply because no one is there to do it. A call to duty is being given to all who find both the Spirit and energy to do so,” said Tara, speaking on behalf of the Annual Meeting committee.

What about personal connections made at Annual Meetings?

The committee plans an in-person fall gathering for the PNC with worship services, workshops and storytelling of the time apart—including “how we survived the pandemic thus far, what has changes and how we’ve grown,” she said.

The theme, “Promised Hope,” refers to the hope all have clung to in these difficult years. The fall gathering theme is “Hope United,” referring to the “Hymn of Promise”—or “In the Bulb There Is a Flower.”

“In it, we find what we have consciously or unconsciously held tight to all this time, the promise that God gives to us that all things grow but only once they’ve died,” said Tara. “We all died a little in this pandemic, but now we’ve a chance to grow in new and wonderful ways.”

Preaching for the Sunday worship will be Andy CastroLang and the service will be held in Westminster Congregational UCC in Spokane, where Annual Meeting was scheduled to be held for two years, but had the in person gathering canceled.

While most people will join in the worship on Zoom-—and Westminster is set up to do that—many of the PNC-UCC churches in Eastern Washington will close their doors and encourage members to come to Spokane to join in Annual Meeting worship in person.

One way this Annual Meeting will be different, or semi-post pandemic, is in the hope that churches will gather for the first time looking ahead to meeting in person the fall, Tara said.

Tara reminded that conference work and Christ’s church needs to be fulfilled and so attendance by the delegates and leaders is necessary.

Registration for $25/person is open at or registration may be done through congregations.

For information, call Arlene Hobson at 206-725-8383 or email


Pacific NW Conference United Church News - © April 2022


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