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Annual Meeting adopts resolutions, funding for staff

More than 275 delegates, clergy, and others gathered in sunny Wenatchee April 26-28 for the PNC Annual Meeting, most arriving by dinner on Friday. 

Stephen Eriksen and Kristine Zakarison

Stephen Eriksen of Shalom Richland and Kristine Zakarison of Pullman serve communion.

The “Geeks for Jesus” were on-site creating videos, taking pictures and creating a blogspot to help connect with those not present.  Next year’s meeting will be held in Seattle for the second time in 17 years.

Delegates elected Tim Devine of St. Paul UCC as moderator and adopted five resolutions:

• One is a General Synod resolution to support outdoor ministries in the national UCC, including a capital campaign.  Support for camps in important because camps help develop faith leaders and pastors.  While PNC camps are strong, other conferences need to raise awareness as some are closing camps.

David Shull and Edie Lacklund

David Shull and Edie Lacklund lead budget discussion.

• A second resolution is for the national UCC and PNC to stop new investment in and move to divest from fossil fuel companies as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that are increasing climate change.

• The third resolution, “You Are Our Sisters, Too,” is a witness in support of American Roman Catholic women religious, pledging that the PNC will reaffirm that the Christian tradition today is enriched by their witness, that the PNC will offer prayers of support and solidarity, celebrate their works and honor their ministries as they are. 

Concerns raised included that it is part of the continuing struggle of all women in a church and world run by men and oppressing women. 

After a resolution proposed at Annual Meeting 2012, members of the PNC engaged in conversations with Roman Catholic sisters, asking what would be helpful and what might hurt their cause.

Tim Devine

Tim Devine is the new conference moderator.

• The fourth was a resolution expressing the Annual Meeting’s opposition to the construction of coal export terminals and the transport of coal by trains from Montana and Wyoming to these terminals.  It also calls for a comprehensive environmental statement that assesses the impact of the four proposed terminals from mining to transport, to burning the coal and carbon emission in Asia.  It also calls on PNC congregations to examine their energy consumption and find ways to reduce their carbon footprints.

•  The fifth resolution changes the PNC’s fiscal year from January through December to June 1 through May 31 to be parallel to the election of officers and submission of annual reports.  Recognizing the need for time to communicate the change and adjust accounting records, planning schedules and logistics, it will begin June 1, 2013.

A motion was adopted to have a full audit of PNC finances.  A proposal to do a management review was tabled.

The budget that passed included a new staff position, tentatively called “program implementation coordinator” to assist with the work of Outdoor Ministries, Youth and Young Adult and Justice and Witness Ministries committees, so each of the ministries can be consistent, clear and vital.

Conference Minister Mike Denton explained that the staff would “expand what we can do and stretch us to follow through and bring new energy in the life of the conference.  We need a staff member rather than a consultant working on a narrow set of tasks.”

A proposal to allocate $12,000 for a Justice and Witness Ministry consultant to assist with young adult interns passed, as did a proposal to hire a program staff person to work in Justice, communication, youth and young adults, and new church starts and renewal.  The proposal is to fund it from the PNC’s endowment.

David Anderson of the Stewardship Committee said that the budget “looks at our ministry and mission together.  It is a document of hope and possibilities.” 

It supports expansion of the PNC’s participation in the national UCC’s young adult service internship program and a second staff person.

For information, call 206-725-8383.

Copyright @ June-July 2103 Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News.


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