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Board forms sub-groups, Annual Meeting plans begin

By Hillary Coleman - Moderator
I hope you are well and managing the continued uncertainty of our current times. As we are in the fall season, leaves are changing. September seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye. I realize many of us need more time for reflection, sharing updates and resting, rather than just go, go, going.

As I reflect, I have a few updates on the Board’s work this summer and fall.

In May, we welcomed new board members and gathered for a Zoom board retreat in June, when we deepened conversations and commitment to anti-racism and talked about our work ahead.

Board members have formed four working groups to keep our priorities moving along: the anti-racism group, communications group, financing our vision group and Board/Conference structure group.

The anti-racism group, with Board members Indigo Brown, Dawn Koloi, Jennifer Castle, Esther Sanders and myself, is having important conversations with the Board, Dismantling Racism Team, and beyond as our conference continues to use an anti-racist lens in all of our settings. We feel the spirit continuing to move this work.

Jillian Hutton and Zoe Pfeifer are our communications group to help us take a deep breath and share the stories of work that is happening around our conference, in ways that are accessible and relationship-deepening.

Our Financing our Vision group, with Janet Ott, Ron Patterson and treasurer Diana Kutas, is helping bridge conversations between Stewardship and the Board to figure out how to finance our vision shared with Stewardship last fall: “In the coming years, we envision the presence of the PNCUCC being bigger than it is now. We see action steps being taken to undo white supremacy culture in how our conference runs so we can use an anti-racist lens in all aspects of our life and truly deepen our inclusion. We see churches, members and people in the conference increasingly connected so we can support one another in the work we are called to do.

Tara Leininger and Nathaniel Mahlberg continue to look at board and conference structure through an anti-racist lens and with an eye to what is working and what could be shifted, building on previous work to bring bylaws changes on our structure to Annual Meeting.

I am grateful board and staff who move our work along. Board members are reaching out to listen to the diverse voices in the PNC.

The Conference Council—leaders from committees and board members— meets in November. To hear from folks around the conference, we hope you will join us at 6 p.m., second Mondays for office hour, or reach out to a board member. We all make up the conference!

We look to Annual Meeting 2022, Friday, April 29, to Sunday, May 1, as a time to be together, however, what that might look like is still to be determined. With uncertainty from the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we are unable to decide about the location and type of meeting, but we are progressing on content and theme.

Based on information in early December, we will decide how to gather in the spring. I know many hope to be together in person, which we have not done the last two years. I hope we are able to do it in a way that is safe and accessible. We just can’t make this decision yet. Thanks to Westminster UCC who has been ready to host since before the pandemic, and thanks to our Annual Meeting Planning Committee, staff, conference leaders and everyone in the conference for your flexibility and understanding.

I look forward to continued gatherings in safe forms in the coming year and to our continued work as the conference.


Copyright © Fall 2021 - Pacific Northwest Conference United Church of Christ News


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